The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has delivered a stark warning to any Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) who engages in fraudulent practices by misusing their status of responsibility.
ADI Peter Cyril Groombridge, 72, of South West London was today sentenced at Inner London Crown Court to 10 months imprisonment for encouraging four illegal instructors to provide driving tuition to candidates through his company ‘Professional Driving School.’
It is illegal to receive money or money’s worth in exchange for driving tuition unless you are a qualified, registered ADI.
Early suspicions were raised when a DSA test centre staff member expressed concerns that illegal instructors were presenting candidates for test.
Bogus instructors, Edward Asare Afriyie, 58, of Peckham, George Ferreira Cabral, 35, of South West London, Ali Mazhar Mirza, 74, of South East London and Astley Hasten Davis, 73 of South East London received a combined fine of £2,580 for their illegal activity.
The DSA’s driving instructor Registrar, Charles Morton said: “The DSA message is clear: if you are not an ADI qualified to teach learner drivers, but continue teaching for money or moneys worth, you can expect to face ever increasing penalties.
“Illegal instructors are a danger to the public. They have not been assessed by us to ensure they are able to provide driving instruction to required standards.
“It is very simple to check that a driving instructor is qualified. Ensure they display an in-date pink or green badge in their windscreen during lessons and that the photo on the badge matches the person providing the instruction. The pink badge indicates that they have trainee status and are entitled to give paid instruction whilst acquiring practical experience. The green badge indicates their name is in The Register of Approved Driving Instructors, they are fully qualified to give paid instruction and are subject to regular checks by DSA to ensure their continued competence and suitability to give instruction”.
The head of the DSA Fraud and Integrity Team, Andy Rice added: “We investigate all reported cases of suspected illegal instruction and work closely with the police and criminal justice agencies to identify offenders and prosecute”.