§ Colonel Ponsonby
asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the case of careless driving by a soldier near Sevenoaks on 3rd December, 1945, which resulted in severe injuries to a civilian; whether he is aware that the driver had had no driving test and held no Army driving permit; and if he will issue strict instructions to prevent a recurrence of such dangerous driving by untrained men in the future.
§ Mr. Lawson
Although the soldier concerned was under training as a driver, he had not passed a driving test and did not possess a driving licence. I regret to say that these facts were overlooked when he was detailed to drive on the occasion in question. It is clearly laid down in the orders on this subject that all drivers of Army vehicles must be in possession of a War Department driving permit unless they possess a current civilian driving licence. Except in the case of those issued with a provisional driving permit, who must always be accompanied by a qualified driver, the issue of a driving permit is only made after the man has passed a qualifying test or has previously qualified to hold a civilian licence. These instructions are drawn to the attention of all concerned at frequent intervals, and the unit concerned is fully aware of them.