UK

Learner drivers caught using test stand-ins

L-plate on a car Image copyright PA

Dozens of learner drivers are caught each year using stand-ins to take their test for them, official figures show.

There were 209 convictions from 2012-13 to 2016-17, with more than half dealt with by the Metropolitan Police, Transport Minister Andrew Jones said.

In addition, 111 people were convicted of taking the practical or theory tests on behalf of others over the same time.

A total of about 1.5 million practical and 1.9 million theory tests are taken each year.

Mr Jones said the majority of investigations were conducted by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) until there was enough evidence to support an arrest and prosecution.

Year Convictions for using a stand-in Convictions for acting as a stand-in
2016-17 37 28
2015-16 44 23
2014-15 39 26
2013-14 44 22
2012-13 45 12

DVSA 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.

"Anyone who tries to circumvent this process is putting innocent road users at risk."

Driving test fraud was a serious offence and dealt with accordingly, he said.

More than 1,100 licences have been revoked due to such activity in the past five years.

In September, a man was given a two-year prison sentence at Croydon Crown Court after taking a series of car, motorcycle and lorry theory tests on behalf of other people.

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding said people hiring impersonators put everyone's lives at risk, because "neither we nor they have any idea whether their driving meets the required standard".

Driving safety was built on three pillars, he said - "roadworthy vehicles, responsibly driven by properly qualified drivers".

"This sort of behaviour is flagrantly kicking one of those pillars away."

The data was released in response to a parliamentary question by Lincoln MP Karl McCartney.

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