Fraudulent driving instructor warning
* Driving Standards Agency urges caution * How to spot an unqualified instructor * 400 suspected illegal instructors in the UK...
The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is warning learner-drivers to check that their instructor is fully qualified.
The DSA's Fraud & Integrity Team (FIT) is investigating over 400 cases of suspected illegal driving instruction across the country.
Driving instructors must pass the DSA's three-part test to ensure they meet the required safety standards.
The DSA recommends that all learners check that their instructor is displaying an in-date pink licence or green certificate in their windscreen during lessons and that the photo on the badge matches the person providing the instruction.
What the badges stand for
The pink badge indicates that they have trainee status and are entitled to give paid instruction while acquiring practical experience;
The green badge indicates that their name is in the Register of Approved Driving Instructors and they are fully qualified to give paid instruction. It also means they are subject to regular checks by DSA to ensure their continued competence and suitability to give instruction.
Provisions under the Fraud Act 2006 mean the police now have increased powers to charge illegal instructors if it can be proved that they have misrepresented themselves by implying they are qualified.
The DSA's Deputy Head of Fraud and Integrity, Michelle Moston, said: 'If illegal instructors are on our roads, they have not passed the Agency's rigorous test. This puts all our lives at risk.'