HC Deb 15 July 1959 vol 609 c410
41. Mr. Gresham Cooke

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation what progress he has to report in the contribution to road safety made by the Institute of Advanced Motorists; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Watkinson

I am informed by the Institute that during the three years ended on the 31st May, 17,910 advanced driving tests were conducted. 10,437 candidates passed, and 7,473 failed. The percentage of candidates who return for a retest after failing the first time shows an encouraging increase. The improvement of driving standards is the most important single element in our dive for road safety. By offering facilities for an advanced test of driving technique the Institute of Advanced Motorists is playing a most valuable part, for which I am grateful, in our campaign to bring about safer conditions on the roads.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

While thanking my right hon. Friend very much for that statement, which will be widely appreciated indeed, may I ask whether he does agree, in view of the important lessons which we have learned by the application of these tests, that it would be very good if, say, 100,000 people took these tests next year?

Mr. Watkinson

There is great scope for this. I think the test improves driving standards and hope that I may commend it to all hon. Members in this House too.

Mr. P. Noel-Baker

How many new licences are granted every year?

Mr. Watkinson

All I can say is that I think the Institute is not testing nearly enough people, I hope that the right hon. Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker) will give a lead by taking the test himself if he has not done so.

Mr. Popplewell

Has the Minister submitted himself to the test?

Mr. Watkinson

Yes, and I passed.

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