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Bias faced by Minorities in UK Driving Tests

April 30, 2019

Equality Campaigners are arguing that there is a clear bias against minority groups in the United Kingdom when it comes to taking your driving test.

Figures recently released by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) suggest that women and people of colour are less likely than white men to pass their driving test.

The figures in question cover the period from 2008 to 2017 and were released in response to Freedom of Information Request and reveal that black women had the lowest pass rates (32%) whilst white men had the highest (56%). Further women in general were less likely to pass their driving test (43%) than men (50%), revealing a clear gender bias.

The Guardian, who recently analysed and reported on the figures, contacted various Race and Gender equality groups for comment. They report that the general consensus
among groups was that the figures were ‘depressing’ with Jabeer Butt,Chief Executive of the Race Equality Foundation, commenting “We know from our work in other areas of British life that BME women tend to do poorest, whether it’s in terms of employment or progress through promotion… We are now seeing that replicated in driving.” He went on to say that the figures were clear evidence of “racism at play”.

Mark Winn, the DVSA’s chief driving examiner said that it was vital that all drivers demonstrate they can drive safely and that the agency was committed to equality, commenting that “all candidates are assessed to the same level and the result of their test is entirely dependent on their performance on the day.”

The Policy and Research Director of the charity IAM RoadSmart, Neil Greig, attempted to offer an explanation for the gender gap in pass rates by suggesting that “boys often get more practice and often from an earlier age, as well as being under slightly more social pressure to pass”. However, there is absolutely no data to suggest race or ethnicity affects an individual’s driving skills and Mr Greig was not able to explain why white drivers were more likely than BAME drivers to pass practical tests.

Whilst these figures are certainly cause for concern, there is certainly no barrier to you training to become a Driving Instructor owing to your gender or race. If you are looking for job satisfaction, flexible working hours and the opportunity to be your own boss then a career as a Driving Instructor might just be for you. To find out more about how to make this career a change a reality, head over to myfourwheels.co.uk today and take your first steps on the road to becoming a driving instructor

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