HL Deb 05 March 1984 vol 449 cc103-15

8.49 p.m.

Lord Mottistone

My Lords, I beg to move that this Bill be now read a second time. This is a Private Member's Bill which was initiated in another place by my honourable friend Mrs. Peacock and moved at Second Reading by my honourable friend Mr. Bottomley. The Bill had an unimpeded passage through another place. The purpose of the Bill is to amend the law relating to driving instruction contained in Part V of the Road Traffic Act 1972. The present provisions make it necessary for anyone who gives instruction in the driving of motor cars for payment or reward to be registered as an approved driving instructor or licensed as a trainee instructor.

There are currently some 27,000 approved driving instructors and about 2,500 trainee driving instructors. Approved driving instructors must pass a qualifying examination before being approved and registered. The examination comprises a written test of theoretical knowledge of driving matters, a driving test in which the candidate is required to drive to a much higher standard than the L-test and a practical test of ability to give instruction. The object of the examination is to ensure a satisfactory standard of driving instruction.

The system of trainee licensing enables a new instructor to gain practical experience in giving instruction for a limited period of six or 12 months prior to qualification as an approved instructor. The present requirements for licensed trainees is to have held a driving licence for four out of the last six years; not to have been disqualified in the past four years, and to be of good character. A licensed trainee is not tested under current legislation. During the six or 12 months they will be improving skills, but, as newcomers, naturally much tuition will be substandard. This is borne out by pass rates for trainees taking the qualifying examination in 1983, in which only 50 per cent. passed the written test of theoretical knowledge and only 43 per cent. passed the practical test of driving and ability to instruct.

One of the most important points about this new Bill is that it tries to increase the quality of all training. The figures I have read give the basic reason why this is so necessary. However, the scheme is sometimes abused by those seeking casual employment with no serious intention of qualifying and making a career of driving instruction. The weaknesses of the scheme have attracted much adverse comment from the public. I have examples of articles both from papers and from magazines over the past three years which demonstrate this. The scheme is also objected to by the approved drinving instructors, who, quite naturally, see their skills being debased because—I shall turn to this later—nobody can tell at the moment which is which, an approved driving instructor or a trainee instructor. Finally. I think I should add that, quite bluntly, it is dangerous. We have an enormous number of motor cars on the road and an enormously increasing number of people of all ages wishing to pass the test. It is important that they be properly trained to reduce the number of accidents, which is still seriously and alarmingly high.

The change in the trainee instructor scheme proposed in the Bill would require trainees to pass a written and driving test part of the qualifying exam for approval before the grant of a licence, but, at that stage, it would not include the test of ability to instruct. This would ensure that trainee instructors are partly qualified before giving tuition for payment, and it provides a framework on which the newcomer can build and become a satisfactory professional instructor and, indeed, able to pass the test of ability to instruct.

The Department of Transport has had full consultations with the driving instructors' organisations and other interested bodies, and the proposals have been generally welcome. There are some who would prefer that the trainee licensing scheme was abolished entirely. However, the department considers, and I agree, that it would be too drastic a step and would severely limit the means of entry to driving instruction as a career. I accept that, and I think we should seek the undoubted benefits which the proposed tightening up of the scheme has to offer.

The Bill also provides, in Clause 1, for the compulsory display of driving instructors' official identification documents in motor cars used for giving driving instruction for payment. At the moment, in the publicity material that is sent to all new drivers with the first provisional driving licence the department urges them to take professional driving instruction and to ask to see their instructors' official documents. However, it is most doubtful whether many pupils do the latter, and they are probably most reluctant to ask for official proof. The proposal in Clause I will help pupils to avoid unauthorised instructors who have not been tested or approved. They will also know whether they have a qualified driving instructor or a licensed trainee. The enforcement of the law on illegal instruction—that is, tuition given for payment by an unauthorised instructor—is a difficult task, and all the more so because of the present lack of ready identification. The proposal for compulsory identification will help the police and others in dealing with the problem.

I have said that Clause 1 deals with this point. Clause 2 deals with subsidiary matters. Clause 3 is the main one for introducing new qualifications and the new examinations for the licensed trainees; and Clause 4 provides for consequential amendments.

In conclusion, careful and considerate driving is essential to road safety. Driving instruction plays an important part in promoting this. Drivers should be correctly taught from the beginning and given a proper foundation for a lifetime of driving. The proposals in the Bill will make the driving instructor registration scheme more effective, and thus make a significant contribution to road safety. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Bill be now read a second time.—[Lord Mottistone.]

8.57 p.m.

Lord Underhill

My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Mottistone, is to be thanked for bringing forward this Bill and for explaining its provisions. When I sought to find what the other place said about it, to my amazement I found that on 26th January it went through Second Reading and all the other stages without any explanation whatever. Therefore, we are grateful for the explanation given to us this evening.

In the view of myself and my noble friends, it is a Bill to benefit the customer; that is, the person wishing to take driving instruction. The provisions as outlined can only be beneficial for those who wish to take driving instruction: and I was also pleased to hear the noble Lord say that it is an extra aid towards road safety, which is very important. The display of a certificate and/or of a licence, as the case may be, is an extremely valuable provision. There is always the problem of enforcement of any provisions of this kind, and of existing provisions. This should be an aid towards that.

The driving instruction service is a growing and valuable service. Noble Lords will have noted the up-to-date figures which the noble Lord, Lord Mottistone, gave of the numbers of approved driving instructors and registered trainee instructors at present. Noble Lords cannot fail to be impressed by the figures which the noble Lord mentioned of those who failed to pass the existing test: in one case just over 50 per cent. and, in the other, just under. The numbers who apply each year run into some thousands—4,500 to 6,000 per year, according to the year. The failure rate in the practical part of the existing examination is important because applicants cannot take that unless they have passed the written part. Therefore, the over 50 per cent. failure rate is of those who have already passed the written part of the present test.

I am pleased that the noble Lord has outlined the changes that there are in the Bill, particularly those for the registration of trainee instructors. This seems to be a clear anomaly in the present provision, and I am certain this is something that will be generally welcomed.

As I see the Bill, it is one that will avoid—I will not use the word "undesirable"—persons who are not properly qualified persons undertaking training. We want this to be a good service industry. There is the danger of undesirable persons coming in. The noble Lord, Lord Mottistone, referred to those seeking casual employment. There is nothing wrong in casual employment, provided that they are really well suited to do the job they wish to do. Therefore, from these Benches we give full support to this Bill. We would hope that the Government would not only accept it but that they will assist its passage through your Lordship's House. I have great pleasure in supporting the Second Reading of this Bill.

9.1 p.m.

Lord Tordoff

My Lords, like the noble Lord, Lord Underhill, we on these Benches are grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Mottistone, for introducing this Bill to the House. The ability of driving instructors to produce better drivers on the road is something we would all welcome, and there are clearly problems in the present legislation to which the noble Lord has pointed.

I was most interested in the figures that he gave us on the pass rate. They underline that there is already some control, and this Bill introduces a greater degree of control. As I shall try to show in a few moments, there are one or two questions that I should like to put and perhaps at a later stage we may suggest some modifications which will tighten it up even further.

I hope that your Lordships will not mind if I deal with the Bill section by section and if I take a little more time than the noble Lord, Lord Underhill. As he says, it was not discussed in another place and I think it is incumbent upon this House to subject this legislation to rather more detailed scrutiny. Clause 1 seems to be a very sensible provision, for the exhibition of the licence on the windscreen is a very useful check on mavericks, as the noble Lord said. The timid trainee-driver, frankly, is not going to challenge the instructor whom he has to live with for his future lessons, but outside agencies may well be prepared to check whether the licence is exhibited in the car. Presumably, there is a role for the police in this and I am sure that they will welcome many aspects of the Bill.

Clause 2 is also welcome. I think the spelling out of the three phases of training is an improvement on the Act that exists now. We are in a slightly complex situation here: we have the Bill before us today, with the 1972 Act and the 1977 statutory instrument, all of which interlock. There is the division into three sections of a written examination, a practical test of ability to drive above the level one normally expects from the average driver on the road and also the test of the ability and fitness to instruct, which is a very useful definition.

Clause 2(1)(b) is a reasonable provision to overcome the problems of a broken period of licence holding without diluting the original provision of a minimum period of four years' driving experience. Clause 2(2): it seems wise to define the relevant experience as driving "motor cars" rather than "motor vehicles", and we welcome that provision in the Bill.

However, when we come to Clause 3(1), we have some questions. First, this clause refers to Section 131 of the 1972 Act, the intention of which is to allow the registrar to issue a licence to allow an applicant to gain practical experience before he takes phase three of the examination in order to undergo the practical test of his ability to instruct. It is on the question of the ability to instruct that I wish to put some points on the Bill which is before your Lordships today.

It says that the licence will be issued only if the applicant has passed the first two phases: that is to say, the written examination and the test of practical ability and fitness to drive. This is a step forward but it is only useful in assessing the competence of the person to drive a motor car above perhaps the average standard that one expects from a learner driver who has just passed his first test. What it does not do is to ensure the suitability of the applicant for the licence to instruct other people, and this is where I have some doubts about whether the Bill goes far enough.

Nowhere is there any insistence in the Bill on training courses to train the trainer. We have to bear in mind that the Statutory Instrument No. 1043 of 1947, Part 5(2)(iii) only prescribes that there should be supervision of the licensee for a minimum of 20 per cent. of the time he is actually on the road instructing people. He has to be supervised for one-fifth of his time and for the other 80 per cent. of his time he can go out with new drivers and behave as though he were a fully-qualified instructor. Accepting that he does need the practical experience to do that, it seems to be a loophole in the earlier Act and also a similar one in this Bill.

What we would like to see is that whoever embarks on this course is in fact rather more skilled than the legislation at present requires. It is a vital matter that people who are instructing should be really capable of doing so, because after all, people's future driving ability may well depend on the first few lessons they get. I speak from my own experience of having been taught by an amateur and of knowing that it took me many, many years to unlearn the bad mistakes that I was making. It was not until many years later when I was fortunate enough to go on an advanced training course run by the City of Manchester Police that I realised the had mistakes that I had been making. I covered them up by a certain youthful reaction time, but had I not been on that course I would even today have been making the same sort of mistakes in terms of rather aggressive driving. It was only when I went through that course that I realised that, in certain circumstances, I was a menace on the road. So it is very important that the people who are instructing should know how to instruct, as well as themselves having an innate ability to drive.

I hope that at a later stage of the Bill we can insert some provision, so that people who will be on their own for 80 per cent. of the time instructing people shall have had some training themselves, not in driving, not in the written examination, but in how to teach other people to drive. With that qualification, I should like to support this Bill.

9.9 p.m.

Baroness Macleod of Borve

My Lords, I, too, should like to thank my noble friend Lord Mottistone for bringing this Bill to the House. I was very impressed to hear that it passed all its stages in the House of Commons on 26th January. That shows that the Government feel that this Bill is long overdue. I am a driver of considerable years, and perhaps I may also say of experience, and I have felt for a very long time that the younger people who are now on our roads need a better quality of tuition than they have had in the past. That is not to say that the instruction by most of the driving schools in this country is below standard. On the other hand, there is so much traffic on the roads and people are driving so fast that, as the noble Lord, Lord Tordoff, quite rightly said, the quality needs to be heightened as much as possible and the whole law needs to be tightened up.

We all know about the cowboy instructors. It is perfectly possible for a man to put a notice on the top of his car stating that he has a driving school. He can then go out on the road and I do not think that he can be stopped, although he is supposed to have passed examinations. I am afraid that we shall still have loopholes, and the parents who teach their children or the brothers who teach their younger sisters to drive are the people who need to he got at somehow by this Bill, because in no way is the standard of that kind of instruction good enough for the roads of this country. Therefore, I feel that much more could and should be done to encourage all the learners to go to a good school which is staffed by highly qualified instructors.

But, however much legislation is passed by Governments, nobody can legislate for good manners on the road. As I drive many thousand of miles, and see the numbers of near misses and the bad examples of driving which are entirely due to bad manners, I realise that that, almost more than anything else, is the reason for crashes. But, as I said, it is very difficult to legislate for good manners, so it must be stressed to the driving schools that good manners should be taught almost as much as anything else.

I notice that the Bill confines itself to motor cars and I wonder about HGV licence. Who teaches the people who will apply for HGV licences?—because driving of that sort must be taught by well qualified and highly trained people. I think my noble friend touched on the fact that an instructor had to have held a clean licence for four years. I am not quite certain whether that is long enough. Perhaps it depends on the reason for someone's licence being endorsed. But if an endorsement were for any of the normal offences, such as drinking, speeding or driving without due care, then six years might be more appropriate. May I also suggest that when a licence is exhibited there should also be a photograph of the driving instructor? That could easily be changed if an instructor had a different car.

I certainly welcome this Bill and, as other noble Lords have done, I hope that in the end it will lead to more careful driving and less speedy driving, although I am not one who thinks that speed causes accidents; I believe that slowness causes more accidents. But, with any luck, I feel that thousands of people who go out on our roads will be taught by instructors who are even better qualified than they have been in the past, and I certainly wish this Bill a speedy run through this House.

9.14 p.m.

Earl Attlee

My Lords, like the noble Lord, Lord Tordoff, I do not believe that the Bill goes far enough. However, I welcome the Bill because at least it is a step in the right direction and goes some way towards keeping cowboys off the roads. To my mind, the worst thing about cowboys—a point that has been mentioned already—is that because they are not trained and because they are not experts they pass on to the people they are pretending to teach to drive the bad habits they have picked up and have been using for years. One of the worst habits—one sees it every day—is that of jumping the amber light at traffic lights, whether on the "stop" or on the "go". Why there are not more accidents at traffic lights I honestly do not know.

In particular, I am very pleased to see Clause 3. There is no doubt that there has been a slackening of standards. According to the Driving Instructors' Association, every year in the region of 1,200 instructors get on to the register of approved driving instructors. The majority of these driving instructors are learning their trade at the expense of the general public. When one considers that the general public are paying £8 or more per hour to be instructed, one realises that they are actually paying someone to learn their job. This seems to me to be crazy, and I am very glad that it is to be stopped.

I do not know whether it is generally accepted that one and a half hours of tuition are needed for every year of a person's life. If, therefore, somebody is 18 years old he needs about 27 hours of instruction; if he is 30 years old he needs about 45 hours of instruction. At £8 or more per hour, these people are investing a very great deal of money. I hope your Lordships will be pleased to hear that the statistics show there is no difference between the length of time it takes males and females to learn to drive.

I am sure that noble Lords who have passed their driving test will agree with me that the present test is too easy. Having said that, I have to admit that I have never taken the Department of Transport driving test. By the time they reintroduced the driving test after the war I had already held a licence for sufficiently long. I felt slightly guilty about this, so I took the Institute of Advanced Motorists' test, which I am glad to say I passed first time.

In conclusion, if there is to be a significant reduction in the number of people killed and maimed on the roads, and if there is also to be a significant reduction in the number of accidents in which, although nobody may be injured, a great deal of damage is done to very expensive motor cars, with the result that premiums go up year by year, that reduction will be achieved only when the majority of people are trained by qualified driving instructors. Therefore I welcome the Bill.

9.18 p.m.

The Earl of Enniskillen

My Lords, I had not meant to speak but I should like to make one point which I notice has not been referred to; namely, refresher courses which keep driving instructors up to standard. Perhaps that is a point we ought to consider. If one obtains a driving instructor's licence there ought to be, as with an airman's licence, periodic tests. I believe that this would be advantageous.

I should like to join all those who have spoken in commending the Bill. It has long been required in order to strengthen one of the prime factors with which, when we were driving under perhaps easier conditions than exist today, we were imbued when we began to drive: that anybody can consider himself to be a good driver, but his passenger will soon let him know if he is not.

Lord Airedale

My Lords, I shall be even more brief. My noble friend Lord Tordoff asked: how does one teach an instructor to instruct? I should have thought it might be a good idea to provide that every trainee instructor should spend so many hours sitting on the back seat watching a qualified instructor instructing his pupil.

9.20 p.m.

Lord Lucas of Chilworth

My Lords, I am most grateful to my noble friend Lord Mottistone for introducing this Bill and for explaining its purpose to us. I believe he, too, should be most grateful that every noble Lord who has spoken this evening has given support. Perhaps it would be as well if at this point I told my noble friend' and your Lordships that the Government give their support to this Bill.

The department has recently reviewed the driving instructor registration scheme to see whether it might be made more effective. As a result we have decided to make a number of changes to improve the quality of tuition that is given to learner drivers. Higher standards have since been introduced for the entrance examinations which new entrants have to pass before being registered by the department as approved driving instructors. The department also re-tests registered instructors from time to time to ensure that they maintain a satisfactory standard of tuition. My noble friend Lord Enniskillen may be reassured to learn that, while not having a refresher course, the department does examine instructors from time to time—in most cases, at least once every two years. If an instructor is failing in a major way, he may lose his registration. If he is failing in a minor way, he will most certainly be encouraged to take further instruction or practice. These checks have been made considerably more strict in recent times to match the higher standards we now expect from new entrants.

The changes in the system of trainee driving instructors' licensing which is contained in the Bill are a very necessary part of the package which I have just outlined to your Lordships. As my noble friend Lord Mottistone said, there are certainly some who may wish to abolish trainee licensing altogether. But the scheme does provide a useful means of entry to a career in driving instruction, and the Government do not wish to minimise that opportunity. It provides the newcomer with an opportunity to gain practical experience of giving instruction before taking the qualifying examination for approval and registration.

However, trainees should have a good theoretical knowledge of driving matters and be able to drive more skilfully than the average driver. The Bill therefore provides for trainees to first pass the written part of the entrance examination and the test of their own driving before the grant of a licence enabling them to instruct learner drivers for payment or reward. The effect of this change will be to raise the standard of new entrants, thus generally improving the quality of good tuition which learner drivers receive.

Good instruction is essential for those learning to drive. It makes an important contribution to road safety, an aspect of which the noble Lord, Lord Underhill, made particular mention in his remarks.

The department urges all new drivers to take professional instruction. The provision in the Bill for the compulsory display of a driving instructor's official identification documents will help pupils in this matter. I will return to that point in a moment. It will also help the enforcement of the law on driving instruction. I will return to that point, too, in just a moment.

My noble friend may find it helpful if I give the Government's views' on a number of points which have been raised. The noble Lords, Lord Underhill and Lord Tordoff, spoke about enforcement. Publicity will be given to the introduction of the requirement for display and the new forms of documents. Pupils will be advised to look for them. The incidence of pupils unwittingly engaging unauthorised instructors will therefore be much reduced: but, as one noble Lord said, it can be offputting to make the challenge, and people could quite easily be taught by other than qualified instructors.

Although the format and method of display of the official identification documents has yet to be determined, we intend that they should be readily recognisable by enforcement authorities from the outside of the car as well as from the inside of the car in which instruction is being given. I can assure my noble friend Lady Macleod of Borve that her suggestion with regard to a more positive form of identification, such as a photograph, will be considered. Obviously I cannot pre-empt what the decision might be because consultations will have to take place. Those consultations certainly will be with the police and other enforcement officers and those who are engaged in this business of instruction.

The noble Lord, Lord Tordoff, suggested that there was something lacking in the Bill. I think he asked the question, "How do we train the trainers?" He referred to the 1977 regulations. In fact, he referred to Part V, Regulation 11, paragraph 3, which, as he rightly said, provides: In the case of any licence other than the second of two licences issued in respect of consecutive periods the holder thereof shall, while giving instruction"—

Lord Tordoff

My Lords, the question of the second of two licences does not now arise because it is dealt with in the new Bill. There is no question of the second of two licences as we are talking about one licence. Therefore, that part of the instruction will be amended by the Bill.

Lord Lucas of Chilworth

My Lords, I am obliged to the noble Lord for pointing that out. Yes, before the Bill becomes operative there may well have to be consequential amendments to take care of anything that the Bill may contain. To continue with the quote: while giving instruction in the driving of a motor car, receive direct personal supervision from a person whose name is in the register for at least one-fifth of the total time the holder spends giving such instruction. The noble Lord made the point rather later in his speech that that means that for 80 per cent. of his time he will not be under any supervision. However, he failed to read the last line of that paragraph. This reads: during the first three months for which the licence is in force. Therefore, although there may not be two periods but only one of six months as the Bill proposes, it is only during the first three months that he has to be supervised and records kept.

It would surely not be unreasonable to suggest that if the registered instructor under whom the trainee is serving (shall I call it?) a three months' traineeship fails to find that trainee suitable, he will not be able to continue. But even if he is able to continue, which I very much doubt, he will have to take this other test, which may or may not disqualify him. The Government believe that the Bill brings forward, or anticipates bringing forward, a higher quality of trainee; or, at the very worst, by virtue of having to take the first two parts of the test it will sift out those who perhaps might not be suitable even after the first three months.

I am delighted that the noble Earl, Lord Attlee, eventually passed his test—

Noble Lords

First time!

Lord Lucas of Chilworth

Perhaps I was unkind, my Lords, in saying "eventually". After many years of driving he passed his test first time, which is a nicer way of putting it. I am sure the noble Earl realises that I meant no offence. He spoke about this compulsory training of instructors. We really do not think that compulsory training of instructors by means of a formal training course is at this time justified. We certainly encourage instructors to seek formal training, but there are many who do not respond to intensive training, and it may be far better if they take their training instruction from a registered instructor over a longer period. I suspect that that would mean that the National Joint Council of Approved Driving Instructor Organisations would have to have some say in the approval of the instructor training establishments.

Approval of courses could not be restricted to the council; the department would have to set the course, the standards, and so on. I do not think that this would be practicable, nor of great benefit when one considers the cost involved. I should perhaps say here that the department is increasing the number of examiners to carry out inspections and tests of the existing registered driving instructors. I think that that also probably takes care of the point mentioned by the noble Lord, Lord Airedale.

My noble friend Lady Macleod of Borve spoke about the cowboy instructor—that is, somebody who is not on the register. They can in fact be prosecuted for giving tuition for payment or reward. The boyfriend or girlfriend who is receiving payment—in the regulations it says "in cash or in kind"—can be prosecuted if he or she can be caught. That is the reason for the certificate having to be displayed.

I do not think that I can help my noble friend Lord Mottistone further, although I might perhaps add that research has shown that pass rates were highest for those who took 10 hours or less of formal instruction. That may be because those people have a sharper or more easily teachable mentality. Research also shows that drivers who are male or young, or who have had motorcycle experience, also have a higher than average pass rate. But that is perhaps by the way.

I am pleased to have the opportunity that the Bill provides for making these necessary changes in driving instructor registration schemes in order to make the system more effective and, by improving the quality of instruction, to enable it to make a greater contribution to road safety. It is a small but very important Bill. I fully endorse the proposals that it contains, and I hope that it receives the Second Reading that it so rightly deserves.

Lord Tordoff

My Lords, may I intervene before the noble Lord sits down? I accept that we shall come back to the training of the the trainers at a later stage in the Bill but, as the noble Lord rightly says, the statutory instrument refers to the first three months of the licence. That is the point at which the trainee is at his most vulnerable and inexperienced. The fact that at a later stage he may have greater supervision is slightly irrelevant to the point that I was making. It is in the first three months that the apprentice instructor needs the greatest degree of supervision.

Lord Lucas of Chilworth

My Lords, that is quite right. That is why at least one-fifth of the time that the trainee instructor spends in giving instruction has to be supervised. But it does not mean to say that it is only one-fifth. Very much depends on the ability of the supervising instructor to determine how much time. One-fifth is just the minimum. Certainly from my experience I can say that the majority of instructors taking trainees have found it necessary, and certainly desirable, to supervise for rather more than one-fifth of the time.

9.35 p.m.

Lord Mottistone

My Lords, I am indeed grateful to all noble Lords who, with a few qualifications, have supported the Bill. I am particularly grateful to my noble friend Lord Lucas of Chilworth for saying that the Government welcome the Bill, and for answering many of the points raised by other noble Lords. I am also most grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Underhill, for his unqualified support from the main Opposition Front Bench. I am also grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Tordoff, for supporting most of what is in the Bill from the Liberal Benches.

What is in the Bill? I would not say to him but it seemed to me that he was saying that we really needed to include the quality of instructional technique within the basic qualifications. He is getting very close to making the final test for approved driving instructor the one for the trainee licensee, and that would then of course come to the point of effectively abolishing the trainee licensees which I and the Department of Transport agree is going too fast and too sweeping. I am a great believer in some sort of apprenticeship system in this, and I should like to see it left in, in more or less the way it is there.

The othe point I would make to all the noble Lords who kindly took part in the debate—and I think I must be practical here—is that the fate of this Bill very much depends on its going through this House unamended. If we amend it, it goes back to another place and, in the nature of their business, it is almost bound to die. This was put to me in the last Parliament on another Bill when I was taking the line of wanting to amend it and I had to accept it. I have taken two Private Members' Bills through this House, before in the past 15 years, and I am afraid that this is a fact. But it does not mean to say that we should not have a jolly good Committee stage in order to air points, and I saw a way through this in what my noble friend, Lord Lucas, said: that perhaps the sorts of amendments that the noble Lord. Lord Tordoff, is after could be in an amended version of the statutory instrument to which both noble Lords referred, rather than in this Bill. Perhaps my noble friend would care to study that because if he could give us that understanding when we come to Committee, that would help to preserve the Bill from almost certain death if it goes back to another place.

I should quickly like to take up two points that my noble friend Lady Macleod raised, which I do not think my noble friend Lord Lucas made. One is about heavy goods licences. They are in a totally different legislation and are not affected by this at all; and, indeed, they are very heavily both trained for and examined in at a level which is out of all connection with this.

She also spoke about bad manners, which I think is very important. It sounds almost frivolous to say it but one of my daughters who had to take two tests, I think failed the first time because it was not that her driving instructor had had manners but he had had breath. This is true! She could not concentrate on what was required of her because she was so put off by this, and each time she went to take her course she had the same man and the same terrible smell; it was frightful. But it is important that things like good manners—and personal hygiene, if you like—should somehow be put across to these people by somebody at some stage when they are doing their training or examining. So I take very strongly the point that my noble friend Lady Macleod, made and thoroughly support her: good manners is the basis for good roadmanship.

I was delighted to hear what the noble Earl, Lord Attlee, had to say about not actually having taken a test until he did his advanced test: I think that is good stuff. I did something similar, but I will not bore your Lordships with that as time is moving on, and other people want to move to the next debate. My Lords, I beg to move.

On Question, Bill read a second time, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.