Army test 'not enough'
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The Department of Transport is insisting that driving instructors who qualify in the armed services must pass its own Approved Driving Instructor qualifications.
Junior Transport Minister David , Mitchell said last week that the Department was not prepared to extend the exemptions given to police instructors and heavy goods vehicle instructors in Northern Ireland.
"There would always be a risk that in some cases the stringent standards on which we rightly insist would be affected and would weaken our control over the qualifications and those seeking registration," Mr Mitchell was replying to complaints from Tory MP Ian Lloyd about the refusal to allow former Guardsman, R. W. Anscombe, to be a driving instructor without taking the Department of Transport's own test at some expense to himself.
Mr Lloyd pointed out that Mr Anscombe qualified in the army as a private driving instructor, as a vocational training instructor in heavy goods vehicle driving and also as an inspector of public service vehicles.
Mr Lloyd considered that if one was qualified to instruct on five-ton lorries and tanks, one was qualified to teach on anything.
It was disreputable if the qualifications acquired in the army or a similar institution were not usable afterwards unless a person went through another arduous test.
Mr Lloyd pointed out that there was a continuing increase in the heavy goods population, while the armed forces trained people who are "wholly and properly qualified instructors."
"They do not need to be tested, they should not have to be tested and we should not have to incur a waste of public money in testing those who do not need to be tested," he said.
But Mr Mitchell said that there were different rules for heavy goods vehicle driver training and teaching the public to drive cars.
There was no restriction on people who qualify in the services as instructors on giving instruction for that type of vehicle as long as they hold an hgv licence.