The Driving Standard's Agency (DSA) has successfully prosecuted two men for taking driving tests on behalf of third parties. Over 1.8 million practical driving tests are taken each year, and fraud is a growing problem which the DSA is eager to stamp out.
There are two big issues with driving test fraud; road safety and identity fraud. Drivers who use a third party to gain their licence are putting other road users at risk by failing to complete the mandatory test. It is also highly questionable whether insurance policies would be valid in an accident. Many people seek possession of a full UK Driving Licence to establish proof of their identity to gain other identity documents and a credit standing within this country.
Yesterday at Croydon Crown Court two men were jailed for conspiracy to obtain driving test past certificates by deception. 38-year-old Charles Egonye of Stondon Park, London, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to sitting the practical driving test on behalf of 18 people between February 2004 and March 2006. Christopher Reid, 34, of Forest Hill, London, was described in court as a 'facilitator.' He was found guilty at a trial last week of using both his credit card and car in order to aid Egonye in his activities. Egonye was handed a 12 month jail term and Reid, 34, a six month sentence. Judge John Tanzer described a full driving licence as 'a very valuable document which was considered an appropriate form of identity.'
The DSA continues to warn that it is committed to the prosecution of offenders in order to preserve public safety and the integrity of the driving test procedure. The DSA investigates all reported cases and works closely with the police and criminal justice agencies to identify offenders and bring them to justice. Andrew Rice, Head of Fraud & Integrity for the Driving Standards Agency said: "Tackling impersonations is a key priority for the Agency as offenders presents a significant danger to road safety. Through fraudulent and criminal means, impersonators gain entitlement to drive for those who are unable or unwilling to undertake the assessment to prove that they meet the required standard to drive on our roads."