Driving test examiners 'attacked' by failed candidates


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One candidate drove “wildly” along a dual carriage way after being told to stop the car

Driving examiners are increasingly being threatened and sworn at by candidates who fail their tests, the Driving Vehicle Standards Agency says.

In 2016, there were around 240 incidents of verbal and physical abuse, compared to 180 the year before.

Two-thirds of all attacks on agency staff in Britain, including roadside enforcement, were against examiners.

A trial of body cameras for some front-line staff could be extended to include driving examiners in future.

Body cameras are currently being used by officials testing commercial vehicles at roadsides or authorised centres.

The DVSA said test examiners also faced death threats while a lorry driver tried to run enforcement cars off the road.

In March, a learner from West Yorkshire was asked to stop the car after making a number of serious errors.

The candidate swore at the examiner and drove “wildly” across a dual carriageway forcing the assessor to use their dual controls to stop the car.

Another driver made a false claim against one of the DVSA’s traffic officers, the agency says it was one instance of the bullying they receive.

Instructor threats

DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said: “I am immensely proud of my colleagues at DVSA, all of whom work incredibly hard to help you stay safe on Britain’s roads. We do not tolerate anyone abusing, threatening or assaulting them.

“Our message is clear – whatever has happened, don’t take it out on our staff. If you do, we’ll press for the strongest possible penalties.”

The agency has also promised to refer all threats and assaults to the police and to make any candidate, who is being abusive, take their next test at a different location.

The DVSA said in some extremely rare cases, driving instructors have tried to change the outcome of the test by harassing or threatening examiners. They face being taken off of the approved driving instructor register.



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