UK clamp down on unlicensed foreign drivers
The Government has announced that it has set in place arrangements to curb the loop hole that allowed foreign drivers from the EU and beyond to enjoy the entitlement of license exchange under UK reciprocal arrangements.
The EU Exchange was never of concern but the countries that were not part of EU membership had been a cause for concern due to the fact that UK license holders did not have ‘swap’ arrangement guarantee if visiting one of the other countries mentioned. Not only this but driving tests and driving in general seem less strict than within the UK.
The changes that were announced by Stephen Hammond will apply to the following countries; Australia, Barbados, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealan, Singapore, Switzerland and Zimbabwe.
In the last five years there has been 109,00 license swaps with Britain, most of the concern was led by Hong Kong who have driving license arrangements with countries such as China, Pakistan and Nigeria, none of these countries have license swap arrangements with the UK.
The move to action new legislation comes with the aim to improve road safety and to decrease the number of driving licenses in circulation being used as fraudulent identity documents.
The changes mean that a person with a Hong Kong license will now be required to have passed a test there and especially if they have identity documents from further afield.
Road safety minister, Stephen Hammond stated;
‘It is obvious to everyone that drivers who have not been through a rigorous driving test will not be as safe as those who have’
He also expressed that by closing the loophole we will be making Britain’s roads even safer, helping to tackle fraud and leveling the field in which UK drivers pay time and money to become UK standard.
The AAs president, Edmund King welcomed the news stating;
‘The more you can do to tighten up licensing on our roads the safer they will be, we fear there are a few drivers on our roads who have never passed a test’.
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