DSA Clamping Down Illegal Instructors

The DSA recently mounted a special operation to clamp down on illegal driving instructors operating in the South London area of Sutton.

Police officers from Sutton’s Safer Transport Team were on mobile patrol in 2 marked APNR vehicles, operating across the borough. During the 3 hour operation, they stopped more than 50 driving school cars and other vehicles displaying ‘L’ plates. The officers were backed by 2 fraud investigators from the Driving Standards Agency (DSA).

A quote from the officer incharge of the operation said:

“We want to send out a message that driving instructors and drivers showing ‘L’ plates must ensure they are driving legally in London.

Law-abiding qualified instructors have to pay annual fees to operate and are being cheated by drivers acting as instructors and receiving payments illegally often offering very cheap driving lesson.”

The DSA’s head of fraud and integrity, Andy Rice, said:

“Operations of this nature are a vital part of our attempts to halt illegal instruction.

The vast majority of instructors meet the extremely high standards we expect of them, but in the rare cases where individuals are found to be giving paid tuition without the necessary skills and qualifications, we work with the police to bring these offenders to justice.”



The morning’s operation resulted in a 37-year-old driver using a driving school sign written vehicle being arrested on suspicion of operating as an instructor, despite having failed the last qualifying ADI exam 3 times.

The driver received a caution under the Road Traffic Act for receiving payment for not being an approved driving instructor. He is also being processed for having no insurance and his vehicle was seized.

5 other driver instructors using driving school liveried vehicles are being sent warning letters from the DSA for failing to display their green badges while given paid tuition.



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