Memorandum by the Department of Transport
MOTOR CARS (DRIVING INSTRUCTION) (AMENDMENT)
REGULATIONS 1997 (S.I. 1997/650)
The Committee has asked for a memorandum on the following point:
Section 129(I) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (licence to
gain experience in giving instruction) as amended, reads (so far
"A licence is granted . . . to acquire practical experience
in giving instruction in driving motor cars with a view to undergoing
either - "
(a) such part of the examination referred to in section
(b) such part of any examination prescribed for the purposes
of section 125A(6),
as consists of a practical test of ability and fitness to instruct."
Given that the power to prescribe is contained in section
125A(6) rather than in section 129(1)(b), ought not the recital
of powers and new regulation 9A (inserted by regulation 3) to
have referred to the former provision instead of the latter?
A person wishing to become registered as an approved driving
instructor ("ADI") must pass an examination mentioned,
according to whether he is able-bodied or disabled, in either
section 125(3)(a) or section 125A(6)(a) of the Act. The examination
is in three parts, each part being described in general terms
in the Act itself but the precise content being prescribed, for
the purposes of those two sections, by virtue of regulations 2(1),
4, 5 and 6 of S.I. 1989/2057, the relevant amendment being by
Section 129 concerns licences which may be granted to trainee
instructors who wish to become ADIs and need to pass the final
part of the prescribed examination, the practical test of ability
and fitness to instruct ("the instructional ability test").
However, paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1) provide, respectively,
for able-bodied and disabled instructors using different language.
Paragraph (a) clearly states that the licence is to be granted
to enable the trainee to practise for the instructional ability
test as a whole (so it follows that he need not therefore have
passed any part of it before being eligible to apply for a licence).
At the time the regulations were made, it was felt that paragraph
(b) might be interpreted as referring to either (i) that part
of the examination as consists of the whole of the instructional
ability test or (ii) such part of the instructional ability test
as is specifically prescribed. Consequently, as a precaution it
was decided to prescribe the whole of the instructional ability
test for the purpose of section 129(1) alone using an implied
power in subsection (1)(b).
On reflection, however, we believe that the wording of the
enactment does not justify such subtlety of interpretation and
the two paragraphs mean the same thing. Regulation 9A is therefore
redundant and will be revoked at the next convenient opportunity.
Since the content of the instructional ability test had
already been prescribed for the purposes of section 125A(6), it
was not thought necessary to mention this provision in the powers
or in regulation 9A.
11th June 1997