The United Kingdom currently offers interpreters or foreign voice-overs on its driving tests, a service that over 77,000 people took advantage of in 2012. But concerns over cheating and the ability of foreign-speaking drivers to actually read and recognize English roadsigns without the aid of an interpreter have the UK's coalition government taking steps towards eliminating aid for foreign languages in driver's training.

According to surveys, the move is supported by 70 percent of the British public, with Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin explaining, "We want to make sure that all drivers have the right skills to use our roads safely and responsibly and one way we cand do this is by requiring all test candidates to take the test in English or Welsh."

Part of the push for change comes from the arrest of Allyson Ng, a Chinese translator that was locked up for a year for providing test answers to Chinese-speaking applicants. Foreign speakers can currently take the test in 19 different languages, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Stephen Hammond, the UK's Road Safety Minister, has been at the forefront of the campaign, which is slated to kick off in February. Let us know what you think down in Comments.


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  • 36 Comments
      Pj Taintz
      • 1 Year Ago
      can we do this in the USA please??? same goes with all federal and state forms, if you cant read english you shouldnt be getting government services
        Ducman69
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Pj Taintz
        Then no one would be on welfare. When is the last time you met a welfare mom that could speak English properly? ;)
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ducman69
          [blocked]
          Derek L. Washington
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Ducman69
          WOW! Let's hope no one at your church is on hard times. Or maybe I hope they are because you are one of those people that think the only people on Welfare or other service are them not your kind. If you're white, look at the figures, vast majority of your kind filling the dole rolls. Elitist pig.
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good. Immigrants should adapt to their host country and not the other way round.
      TangoR34
      • 1 Year Ago
      The main concern is not the cheating in tests but when they drive in real roads. I saw a traffic police programme where they pulled over a person over some minor issue on the motorway hard shoulder. Then the police told him to go to the next service station for a safer procedure. He hold him to accelerate on the hard shoulder up to about 50mph before merging into the traffic. But he did the opposite way. Joined the traffic from a stand still causing the truck to nearly rear end him before travelling at speed. So clearly he misunderstood with his lack of English. That's why I hate it when I see the option of more than 20 foreign languages available in the theory test even my mother language is not English or Welsh or Gaelic....
      knightrider_6
      • 1 Year Ago
      We need to do this in US.
      JB
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm an immigrant living in the UK and I fully support this initiative. If you come to live in another country, for Pete's sake learn the language. I am currently preparing for a motorcycle test and it never for a second crossed my mind to take it in my native language, even though it is possible.
      Dean
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would completely be in support of a ban of foreign language driving tests in the United States. While this would potentially exclude part of the population from getting a drivers license, I believe that if you're driving, you should be able to read, and understand, road signs, street names, speed limit signs, as well as traffic notices. There are already enough hazards on the road without having to deal with hazards created by those who cannot understand signs.
        Sean Conrad
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dean
        Almost all signs that are necessary for understanding what's going on on the road are symbols or diagrams of what's going on. If I went to Mexico or Russia, I could probably get around just fine without knowing what the words meant. I might get lost, but that's my own problem. The problem is not the language, the problem is understanding the laws of the road.
          Ross
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sean Conrad
          People tend to behave erratically when they are lost and are typically not safe to be around, so not understanding the language is definitely a problem.
          creamwobbly
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Sean Conrad
          Absolutely right, but I'd prefer to see more symbol-based signage here in the US; especially in border states and popular destinations for foreign visitors. Even for those for whom English is a first language, words take more time to parse than symbols.
        wilkegm
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dean
        Let's not forget that part of being abe to conduct oneself safely in traffic may well be to be able to communicate effectively with law-enforcement and EMERGENCY personnel. You have to have some crazy entitlement to expect an interpreter to be available at all times on the road.
      Ducman69
      • 1 Year Ago
      Britain's multiculturalism experiment is ruining the country. I visited London a few years back, and it seemed like the stereotypical Englishman was the tourist in his own country. Quite a fall from the mighty empire that once ruled half the world. The US is on that path too.
      FuelToTheFire
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm an American with Indo-Pak heritage. You'd expect me to fully oppose this, as quite a few Londoners are originally from the same country where my parents are from. But I fully support this. In fact, I believe that we need to implement a similar system over here in the States, and take it a step further:start cracking down on ALL of these BS bilingual "accommodations." When my parents came to this great country, they spent many backbreaking hours trying to improve their English. When they make phone calls, they shouldn't have to hear, "Press 1 for English and 2 for Spanish". If you want to settle in this country, settle here LEGALLY, prove that you are productive citizens, and LEARN THE DAMN LANGUAGE as my parents did.
        Derek L. Washington
        • 1 Year Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        thank you! I am as liberal (left of Barack) as they come but I am insulted everytime I have to prompt to hear English.
      throwback
      • 1 Year Ago
      If all the road signs are in english, shouldn't drivers be required to read english?
      MyerShift
      • 1 Year Ago
      THIS. This is exactly what we need to be doing in the U.S.
      superchan7
      • 1 Year Ago
      The situation in the UK is not quite like the US. Welsh, Irish, Scots etc. are regional languages with genuine heritage. Not like Spanish in the US which is an immigrant language, not a legislated official language. In Britain, tests should be held to a standard by which drivers can read road signs across the UK, and if that is requires some English ability, then so be it. Hopefully this situation never arises with Spanish in the US. Having anything but the accepted official language in any government agency is just plain offensive to the English-speaking majority and immigrants who have genuinely tried to assimilate into their host country.
        Jay Temkar
        • 1 Year Ago
        @superchan7
        Spanish is not an immigrant language...just 100 years back Spanish was official language in more that half of america...for ex. Texas, new mexico, California...they all use to speak Spanish before US attacked mexico and annexed these states...
          Jerry Oslo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jay Temkar
          The US did not attack Mexico. You should really go to a non liberal school and learn the real reason we went to war with Mexico. It wasn't started by the US, remember Texas was it's own country before.
          Ducman69
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jay Temkar
          First off, Mexico never even laid claim to all of Texas just a portion, but the Mexican government was bankrupt and corrupt and Texas declared independence well before talks for the US to annex Texas as a state. It was officially the Republic of Texas. Mexico declared war, not the other way around, and the war garnered widespread popular support due to the cruelty of the Mexican invasion force. Texas has never had an official language in its history btw, but English was absolutely the native language as the settler towns that grew into big cities you all know of were all created by settlers. The disputed territory was considered unsettled for the most part and was just land/resources at the time. There have been several attempts to make English the official state language though, but politicians catering to the ever growing hispanic population have feared risking losing their votes so it is usually shot down despite large public support. PS: Remember the Alamo!
      Major Lee Gassole
      • 1 Year Ago
      Are you listening, America!? Let's all be PC and not offend anyone. SCREW YOU! LEARN THE DAMN LANGUAGE!
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