Schedule 1

Driving Instruction (Suspension and Exemption Powers) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 17th June 2009.

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Transitory amendments to existing regime

Amendments made: 20, in schedule 1, page 7, line 13, at end insert—

‘2A After subsection (8) of section 127 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52) (extension of duration of registration) insert—

“(9) Sections 128(7A) to (7G) and 131A apply in relation to suspending a person’s registration in connection with an application under subsection (1) above as if the references in sections 128(7A) to (7G) and 131A to—

(a) a notice under section 128(4) were references to a notice under subsection (5) above, and

(b) the removal of the person’s name from the register were (or, in the case of section 128(7E)(d), included) references to the refusal of the person’s application for the retention of the person’s name in the register.”’.

This amendment would enable the Registrar to suspend a person’s registration while considering an application under s127(1) of the RTA 1988 (as it currently has effect, without the substitution of that section by Schedule 6 to the Road Safety Act 2006). Provisions relating to compensation would also apply.

Amendment 21, in schedule 1, page 8, line 8, at end insert—

‘4A After subsection (8) of section 129 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (c. 52) (as it has effect without the omission of that section by Schedule 6 to the Act of 2006) (licences for giving instruction so as to obtain practical experience) insert—

“(9) Sections 130(7) to (13) and 131A apply in relation to suspending a person’s licence in connection with an application for a new licence in substitution for a licence current at the date of the application as if—

(a) the references in sections 130(7) to (13) and 131A to—

(i) a notice under section 130(3) were references to a notice under subsection (7) above,

(ii) the revocation of the licence were (except in section 130(11)(d)) references to the refusal of the person’s application for a new licence, and

(iii) the decision not being in effect were references to the decision not being in effect because the licence has not expired, and

(b) section 131A(3), and the words “(whether or not the Registrar’s decision has taken effect)” in section 131A(2)(b), were omitted.”’.

This amendment would enable the Registrar to suspend a person’s licence while considering their application for a new licence in substitution for a current licence under s129 of the RTA 1988 (without its omission by Schedule 6 to the Road Safety Act 2006). Provisions relating to compensation would also apply.

Amendment 22, in schedule 1, page 9, line 11, leave out from ‘may’ to end of line 14 and insert ‘appeal to the First-tier Tribunal’.

See Member’s explanatory statement for amendment 14.

Amendment 23, in schedule 1, page 9, line 15, leave out ‘Transport Tribunal’ and insert ‘First-tier Tribunal’.

See Member’s explanatory statement for amendment 14.

Amendment 24, in schedule 1, page 9, line 15, leave out ‘they consider’ and insert ‘it considers’.

See Member’s explanatory statement for amendment 14.

Amendment 25, in schedule 1, page 9, line 17, leave out ‘consider’ and insert ‘considers’.—(Paul Clark.)

See Member’s explanatory statement for amendment 14.

Question proposed, That the schedule, as amended, be the First schedule to the Bill.

Photo of Michael Connarty Michael Connarty Chair, European Scrutiny Committee, Chair, European Scrutiny Committee

I do not wish to delay the Committee, but I am drawing on experiences from when I was representing people in a profession; they had complaints against them, some upheld and some not.

I am well aware that the General Teaching Council for Scotland strikes people off and then allows them to reapply. The hon. Member for Scarborough and Whitby cited cases of people who had paedophile images on computers. I am well aware that some people who had previously been struck off have been put back on the register of the GTC. There seems to be no method of alerting the people who were offended against—who made the original complaint—of that happening. I know, and I have heard statements from people in the teaching profession at a very high level, that such people are back on that GTC register—they do not know where they are teaching, and they do not know anything about them.

In the case of a new application being made under schedule 1, when people are given a new licence, what safeguards are there? Someone might get a new licence, but the person who was the original victim, or the person who did the complaining, would not be told. The person with the new licence would end up practising in a new jurisdiction—in terms of geography—and it would concern me if there were no safeguards for the public if that could happen.

Photo of Willie Rennie Willie Rennie Chair of Parliamentary Campaigns; Shadow Defence Minister

I shall take a stab at that. I hope that the system that is in place for approved driving instructors would identify people who were appropriate to be driving instructors or not. I would have to ask the Minister whether there is a notification scheme that entitles victims of an offence to be notified. If the approved driving instructor registrar believes that such a person is an appropriate instructor, perhaps that is the judgment required and, therefore, requires no subsequent notification. I shall leave the Minister to respond on that detail, as it is a technical matter.

Photo of Paul Clark Paul Clark Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport

I add to the comments of the promoter of the Bill by saying that all applications for new licences and for renewal go through a Criminal Records Bureau check, which should pick up the concerns that my hon. Friend the Member for Linlithgow and East Falkirk has.

Schedule 1, as amended, agreed to.