Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Fifteenth Report


Memorandum by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions


  1. The Committee has asked for a memorandum on the following point:-

    New regulation 13A(2)(d)(i) (inserted by regulation 4) provides that a person has relevant driving experience if, in the case of a person supervising a provisional licence holder who is driving a vehicle in the specified categories, he held the relevant licence on 6 April 1998 and has held it continuously since that date. Explain the purpose and effect of this requirement and, in particular, the significance of the underlined words.

  2. By virtue of regulations 13 and 15 of the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations 1996 (S.I. 1996/2824 as amended by S.I. 1997/669) a person holding a licence (the learner driver) in the categories referred to in this provision must be accompanied by a driver (the qualified driver) who is 21 years of age and holds a full licence authorising him to drive vehicles of the same class as the learner driver. The regulations impose no requirement as to the length of time for which the qualified driver must have held that licence.

  3. This is at variance with the position for vehicles in category B (motor cars and small goods vehicles) where the qualified driver must have held the relevant full licence for 3 years or more overall (the 3-year requirement). It was decided that the requirements should be brought into line. However, the nature of the large vehicle training industry makes it inappropriate to impose the 3-year requirement immediately and it was therefore further decided that an immediate requirement to have held a full licence for one year should be imposed, with this rising to the full 3-year requirement over a two year period.

  4. Regulation 13A(2)(d)(i) (the enactment) is therefore in the nature of an interim provision. It comes into force on 6 April 1999. By 5 April 2001, if it remains unamended, the 3-year requirement will apply. The enactment will then be revoked so that paragraph (2)(d)(ii) applies to all qualified drivers whatever the category of vehicle. An alternative provision was considered under which the enactment would have ceased to apply after two years, but this was rejected in order to keep the regulation as a whole relatively simple.

29th March 1999

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