Anyone who was planning to take their driver’s test in a foreign language must hurry; if it’s up to the UK’s Transport Secretary, this might soon be a thing of the past!
At the moment, immigrants in the United Kingdom are able to take driving tests in the language of their home country. This is done by the aid of interpreters, who translate the questions that are asked to the immigrants and the answers they give.
However, as these interpreters are suspected to tell their clients the answers to the questions in both the theoretical and practical parts of the exams, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin is planning to ban exams in foreign languages.
Since 2009, over 850 driving tests have been revoked and nine interpreters have been banned. At the moment, the United Kingdom has Europe’s most lenient driving test language system. Did you know that next to English and Welsh, it is possible to take the theory test of the driver’s exam in nineteen different foreign languages?
However, this practice might soon be curbed as new government plans are released next month. Roads Minister Stephen Hammond: ‘There are real safety risks that if people cannot understand the language, they cannot understand signs and other rules of the road.’
The Department for Transport estimates that the new measure will save the government about 230,000 pounds a year.
What are your feelings? Should the UK demand that anyone wanting a driving license have a certain level of English? Or is this discrimination? We’d love to hear your thoughts…