Revealed: bias faced by minorities in UK driving tests

Women and people of colour are significantly less likely than white men to pass UK practical driving tests, according to data analysed by the Guardian.

Figures released by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) after a freedom of information request show black had the lowest pass rates (32%) and white men the highest (56%). The figures, covering 2008-17, also show all women had a pass rate of 43% and all men 50%.

Women’s groups and racial equality charities said the figures, revealed as part of the Guardian’s Bias in Britain series, were “depressing” and showed that women from black and minority ethnic groups were victims of racist bias.

“We know from our work in other areas of British life that BME women tend to do poorest, whether it’s in terms of employment or progress through promotion,” said Jabeer Butt, the chief executive of the Race Equality Foundation. “We are now seeing that replicated in driving.

Butt said the figures showed “racism at play”.

“Even when a driving test should be an objective test, it’s clear that subjective rules are being applied.”

 

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