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Simplification of minibus driving regulations

Comment 9th July 2010

To change the complicated rules around category D on driving licences to allow those passing their tests after Jan 1997 to have the same rights to drive a minibus as those who passed before.

Why does this matter?

 

Under current regulations those of us unlucky enough to have passed our driving tests after January 1997 are unable to drive minibuses unless in a completely voluntary capacity (we are not automatically given the D classification on the license). I am a youth worker working in schools in Southampton and am unable to drive a minibus until I have undertaken a full PCV test (the same test undertaken to drive a double decker bus). A safe driver scheme MIDAS already exists to promote safe driving of minibuses.

This is now causing huge issues for youth organisations and schools for whom a minibus is a vital part of off-site trips / residentials etc.. How is it that someone who passed there test pre 1997 is allowed (even those who are now OAP's!!) and someone post not? It cannot be a safety issue or everyone would have to get a PCV. It cannot be about the vehicle size as it does not cover vans (even commercial ones) of the same size etc. It is simply a piece of ill thought out extremely annoying and complicated legislation which is directly affecting third sector groups and schools delivering services to young people.

let us all have cat D automatically on licences and those wishing to provide a commercial service some kind of extra test such as MIDAS. We all want our children to be safe but this is not helping but hindering.

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