HC Deb 17 November 1954 vol 533 cc376-7
23. Lieut.-Colonel Schofield

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he is aware that, under the existing Regulations, a person who failed on 10 occasions to pass a driver's test in Great Britain, but obtained an all-groups driving licence in Northern Ireland, is therefore allowed to drive a private-hire taxi in this country; and what action he proposes to take in the interests of road safety.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am aware that our mutual arrangements with Northern Ireland may occasionally lead to abuse; to correct this abuse would require legislation. I understand, however, that the Government of Northern Ireland are considering the introduction of driving tests in connection with their forthcoming Road Traffic Bill.

Lieut.-Colonel Schofield

Whilst thanking my right hon. Friend for that reply, may I ask whether he would not agree that this sort of thing makes complete nonsense of our efforts to promote road safety? Could he not see whether this might not be one of the matters on which he might seek to amend the law in the Road Safety Bill, which he hopes to present to the House during the next Session?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Without prejudice to my hon. and gallant Friend's speculation, I should have thought that if the Northern Ireland law were amended, so as to require the imposition of driving tests, that would be the better way of dealing with the problem.

Mr. Callaghan

Can the right hon. Gentleman say when the Road Safety Bill, which was promised by the Joint Parliamentary Secretary two years ago, is likely to be forthcoming?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Not without notice.