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TRAINING AND INSTRUCTORS: MINOR AND CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS

(". Schedule (Driver training and driving instructors: minor and consequential amendments) makes minor and consequential amendments about driver training and driving instructors.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

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Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 301:


    Before Schedule 29, insert the following new schedule--

("SCHEDULE
Driver training and driving instructors: minor and consequential amendments
Introductory

1. The Road Traffic Act 1988 has effect subject to the following amendments.
Consequential amendments about driver training

2. In section 89(6) (vehicles which may be driven by virtue of licence authorised by passing of test), for "For" substitute "Subject to regulations under section 99ZA of this Act, for".
3. In section 97(1) (grant of licences), for "the following provisions of this section and section 92 of this Act" substitute "subsection (2) below, section 92 of this Act and regulations under section 99ZA of this Act".
4. In section 98(2) (effect of full licence), after "below" insert "and to regulations under section 99ZA of this Act".
5.--(1) Section 164 (power of constables to require production of evidence) is amended as follows.
(2) For subsection (4A) substitute--
"(4A) If regulations make provision for the evidencing of the successful completion of driver training courses or of a person's being within the exemption specified in subsection (2), or any exemption provided by virtue of subsection (3), of section 99ZA of this Act, a person driving on a road a motor vehicle which he--
(a) is not authorised so to drive without having successfully completed such a course, or
(b) would not be authorised so to drive apart from the exemption,
may be required by a constable to produce prescribed evidence of the successful completion by him of such a course or of his being within the exemption."
(3) In subsection (6), for "his certificate of completion of a training course for motor cyclists" substitute "prescribed evidence of the successful completion by him of a driver training course or of his being within an exemption".
(4) In subsection (8A), for "a certificate of completion of a training course for motor cyclists" substitute "prescribed evidence of the successful completion of a driver training course or of being within an exemption".
(5) In subsection (11), for the words from ""counterpart,"" to "completion"" substitute ""counterpart" and "provisional licence"".
6. In section 194 (index of expressions) insert at the appropriate place--
"Driver training courseSection 99ZA".
Tests of continued ability and fitness to give driving instruction

7. In section 125(5) (continuing registration conditional on undergoing tests of continued ability and fitness to give instruction), for the words from "undergo" to the end substitute "submit himself for such test of continued ability and fitness to give instruction in the driving of motor cars (which may consist of practical and other means of assessment) as may be prescribed by regulations."
8. In section 125B(6)(b) (similar provision in relation to disabled instructors), after "cars" insert "(which may consist of practical and other means of assessment)".
9.--(1) Section 132 (regulations about examinations and tests) is amended as follows.
(2) In subsection (1), for "such instruction" substitute "instruction in the driving of motor cars (or appropriate motor cars)".

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(3) In subsection (2)--
(a) in paragraph (a) (obligation to provide vehicle)--
(i) for "to any" substitute "for any",
(ii) for "such a test of continued ability and fitness" substitute "any part of such a test of continued ability and fitness which consists of practical assessment", and
(iii) for "the test" substitute "the practical test or assessment",
(b) in paragraph (b) (fees)--
(i) after "examination" insert ", or required to submit himself for such a test,", and
(ii) after "that part" insert "or such tests,", and
(c) in paragraph (c) (particulars), after "examination" insert ", or is required to submit himself for such a test".
Disabled instructors: emergency control assessments

10. In section 133A (assessments of disabled person's ability to control a motor car in an emergency), after subsection (4) insert--
"(4A) Regulations may require a person who applies to undergo an emergency control assessment (or a part of such an assessment), or is required to submit himself for such an assessment, to pay a fee to the Secretary of State."
Review by magistrates' court of examinations of instructors

11.--(1) Section 133 (review of examinations) is amended as follows.
(2) In subsection (1) (application to magistrates' court)--
(a) for "submitted himself for any part of an examination of ability to give instruction in the driving of motor cars" substitute "undergone a relevant examination, or a part of such an examination", and
(b) for "that part of the examination was properly conducted in accordance with regulations" substitute "the examination or part was properly conducted".
(3) In subsection (2) (order for repayment of fees etc.)--
(a) for "that part of the examination was not so" substitute "the examination or part was not properly", and
(b) for "that part" substitute "the examination or part".
(4) After subsection (3) insert--
"(4) In this section "a relevant examination" means--
(a) an examination of ability to give instruction in the driving of motor cars,
(b) a test of continued ability and fitness to give instruction in the driving of motor cars (or appropriate motor cars), or
(c) an emergency control assessment."
Respondent in appeals about instructors

12. In section 131 (appeals against decisions of registrar), insert at the end--
"(4G) On an appeal under this section the respondent is the Registrar."").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Earl Attlee moved Amendment No. 302:


    After Clause 255, insert the following new clause--

VEHICLES TO BE FITTED WITH INTEGRAL SAFETY PROP

(" . In the Road Traffic Act 1988, in section 41, after subsection (4) there is inserted--
"(4A) Regulations made under this section shall provide that any vehicle so constructed that it can be unloaded by part of the vehicle being tipped sideways or rearwards must be fitted with an integral safety prop."").

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The noble Earl said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 302 I should like to speak also to Amendments Nos. 307 and 308. Amendment No. 302 seeks to provide increased operator safety for vehicles equipped with tipping bodies by requiring the fitting of an integral safety prop. The bodies of these vehicles can be raised hydraulically, principally for unloading but also for maintenance and to deal with breakdowns. From time to time, very serious, even fatal, accidents occur when the body unexpectedly descends and traps the mechanic between the body and the chassis. From personal experience, I assure noble Lords that to work under or near an unsupported body is very stressful.

Tipping vehicles enjoy a number of concessions, including exemption from the need for side guards or spray suppression equipment. I believe that an integral body prop is a small price to pay for eliminating a foreseeable cause of accidents. I accept that this is properly a matter for the Motor Vehicle (Construction and Use) Regulations. Does the Minister intend to amend those regulations, or will he allow the risk to continue and rely on the infinitely less specific provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Act?

In Committee I moved Amendment No. 307, which would enable the Secretary of State to relax the requirement for type approval by means of orders rather than regulations. I also moved Amendment No. 308, which would create a new offence of failing to comply with the legal requirements regarding the movement of abnormal loads. The Minister was sympathetic to both amendments. While I appreciate the difficulty of tabling government amendments which are properly drafted by parliamentary counsel, the last opportunity to agree these amendments fast approaches. Has the Minister made a decision, and will he table his own amendments at Third Reading? I beg to move.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, in relation to Amendments Nos. 307 and 308 the noble Earl makes a valiant stab at achieving what we both seek. I assure the noble Earl that if he withdraws his amendment we shall table our own at Third Reading which is not a million miles from his drafting. I believe that that amendment will achieve the objective.

As to Amendment No. 308, to do it in the way proposed by the noble Earl has a number of problems and downsides. I believe that our draft of the previous amendment will achieve many of the objectives that lie behind Amendment No. 308.

Amendment No. 302 effectively requires a prop to be fitted to rearwards or sideways-tipping vehicles. That would provide a safeguard when the vehicle was tipping should the hydraulics fail. There are arguments as to exactly how the provision should be phrased, but I do not believe that this Bill is the appropriate place to deal with the matter. As the noble Earl anticipated, the matter that he raises is more appropriately dealt with under either the Health and Safety at Work Act or the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations. We shall consider the possibility of doing

2 Nov 2000 : Column 1152

something in that context. I believe that to include it here would be to stray some way from the Bill. Therefore, I prefer not to pursue that amendment.


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