Why do I ask the question- should international driving permits be abolished? Because in some countries driving licences are very easy to come by. Applicants need only to pass the most rudimentary of driving tests, or in some cases no test at all that we would recognise. They can then apply for an International Driving Permit, this allows them to drive on the roads of Britain for up to one year before they have to take a test. They can also avoid taking a test by leaving the UK temporarily and returning on a fresh permit.
But surely these drivers are either safe or they are not? If they are safe, then why do they have to take our test? If they are not, then why should we allow them to put people at risk by driving unaccompanied and untrained?
The UK Driving Test
What happens if one of these drivers takes and fails the UK driving test? Nothing is the short answer. They can fail a test and show themselves to be highly dangerous, yet still they are allowed to drive away and continue on their own!
The problem with banning the use of the international driving permits is political. There are some countries in which British drivers have to apply for a permit. If we revoked this agreement then British drivers may lose the right to drive without passing a test in some parts of the world. It would be fine to continue if we all tested and drove to similar standards, but we do not.
So we keep this insane rule in place because it is convenient. It matters not to the politicians if a few people lose their lives as long as we don’t inconvenience to those who have to drive on business abroad. So, should international driving permits should be abolished? Or is death on our roads a price we are willing to pay?