Over 40 driving test cheats caught each year in the UK
Learner drivers caught sending someone else to take their driving test for them
Driving test day for any learner driver is one filled with anxiety and anticipation, but for some learner drivers in the UK, this isn’t something to worry about – you simply send someone else to take the test for you!
New data has been published by the Transport Minister, Andrew Jones, which shows that over 40 learner drivers are caught out each year for attempting to use an impersonator to take their driving test in place of them.
According to the newly-released figures, from 2012/13 to 2016/17, 209 people in the UK were caught and convicted for trying to obtain a full driving licence even though they hadn’t actually sat the test, whilst 111 people were caught and convicted of taking the theory test or practical for someone else over the same period.
Experts within the motoring industry sent out a warning to offenders after hearing the figures, stating that these drivers are “putting everyone’s lives at risk.”
Mr Jones acknowledged that over half (53%) of the relevant cases were handled by the Metropolitan Police.
Director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, Steve Gooding, said: “By being prepared to get behind the wheel by fair means or foul, people hiring impersonators put everyone’s lives at risk because neither we nor they have any idea whether their driving meets the required standard.”
According to Mr Jones’ data, over 1,100 UK licences over the past five years have been retracted, after evidence was discovered that the licence was fraudulently obtained.
Most cases to do with impersonation are initially dealt with by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), up until the point they’ve gathered enough evidence to back up an arrest leading to prosecution.
In September last year at Croydon Crown Court, south-east London, a man was handed a two-year prison term after being found guilty of taking a number of car, motorcycle and lorry theory tests for other people.
The DVSA’s head of counter-fraud and investigations, Andy Rice, said: “The driving test is there to ensure that all drivers have the skills and knowledge to use the roads safely and responsibly.”
Mr Rice spoke about how these offenders are putting innocent road users at risk, warning people that this type of fraud is taken very seriously and dealt with as such.
According to stats from the DVSA, around 1.9 million theory and 1.5 million practical tests are taken every year in the UK.
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