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(generated from captions) Now, getting your Australian driver's licence has never been easier if you don't speak English. In fact, you can sit the exam in 19 different languages. Now, last night, we brought you a story about the calls for people to pass an English test

before they can call Australia home. Well, now road safety experts are saying the same principles should apply to licence testing. Laura Sparkes has this report.

We are compromising road safety, I believe, by acceding to those sorts of ideas and demands to satisfy the needs or the demands of minority groups.

English is not their mother tongue and I think that, at times, that can create problems out there because it means they're not able to make an instantaneous decision about what they're supposed to be doing. Learning to drive - it's an important and stressful time and one that can be dangerous. Reading road signs is imperative for safe driving. How is it, then, that up to 19 different languages

are offered to learner and provisional drivers taking the written-knowledge test around Australia? If there are problems with people understanding language, and adding that on top of all the other things they've got to learn, then we do have problems and I think we need to be able to do something about that. These are called advisory signs. Geoff McDougall is president

of the Australian Driver Trainers Association. He's also a director of Trent's, the biggest driving school in the country. He is worried that by catering to migrants who can't understand English, we're adding to the dangers on our roads. If they're not understanding enough in English, it is a frustrating thing, but it's also a worrying thing because those people are out there driving and they may be getting into situations that they just don't understand or can't grapple with.

While English is spoken in the driving tests, the written tests for learners and provisionals can be done in another language in most States. Admittedly, the road signs are all written in English

but the questions and the answers for the tests are in the chosen language. Because if they don't understand them, they're going to be a hazard because they'll be hesitating and they won't know what they're supposed to be doing when they're out there and meet situations. when they're out there and meet situations. Don't forget to check over your blind spot. That's it. Geoff is one of many driver trainers across Australia worried about the licensing of drivers. Their concerns were sparked by a story last week where a Sydney councillor suggested parking signs should be written in Chinese due to huge numbers of parking fines in Cabramatta, Australia's Vietnamese capital.

We think an education process is what it's all about, and if signs make a difference, let's do the signs. How are they to know which road to turn off to go to a particular destination?

What a road says about slowing down? Schoolchildren ahead? Do they go through a built-up area where it says,

"School ahead, slow down, children crossing"? Congratulations, and well done! Federal MP Alby Schultz was shocked when he found out

drivers' licences are so easily obtained in other languages. We shouldn't be lowering our standards, we should be lifting our standards, and people have to remember if they come to live in this country we should be lifting our standards, and people have to remember if they come to live in this country they have to comply with the rules and regulations and the language that is predominant in the country of the day

that they've come to live in. Former Senate National Party leader John Stone is an ardent critic of multiculturalism and believes, as a nation, we cater too much for the needs of migrants. I think the whole thing is bizarre that people can take and be given a driver's licence and they can't read, let alone speak, English. If you are driving along and you can't read signs, is there a greater risk of an accident? Yes, I think there is a greater risk. I don't know in what proportion, how proportionately greater is it, but it's a greater risk. The critics aren't worried about the average stop and give-way signs. The critics aren't worried about the average stop and give-way signs. Their concerns lie with the more complicated ones,

like these ever-changing, ever-moving electronic boards warning drivers of road closures and accidents ahead, to move into another lane. and asking drivers to move into another lane. They change all the time. They're not just a single message you can learn by heart, so to speak. They're always different and if you can't read them, how the hell can you do what you're asked to do? I think the signs, even if they're variable, are quite simple to understand. So I believe the majority of people will understand them but those who don't would apply commonsense and follow the drivers in front of them. Sydney's Fairfield Councillor Thanh Ngo is angered at the criticism aimed at all non-English-speaking drivers, claiming no studies have been done to prove these drivers cause more accidents. People may be able to speak English but they'd prefer to do it in their own language because, let's face it - it's a test. They want to make sure the tester understands what they're trying to say. The second issue is if they don't understand English, it doesn't mean they can't drive or they don't understand what "No standing" or "No stopping" means. Geoff McDougall has slammed driver-training schools

who employ trainers to teach learner drivers in their own language, concerned that these teachers may not fully understand English themselves.

Because they're always being explained in their own tongue what that sign actually says, then I think there's issues there

where it could lead to problems with them becoming involved in a crash or a hazard or something they can't handle. So what should happen? Councillor Ngo is adamant the languages have to be offered, but the critics disagree. We should scrap it and get it back to what it was originally - just putting out a booklet in plain English. I think it's important they have enough knowledge of English to be able to read the kinds of signs that come up. Fair enough, but I guess that means any Aussies driving overseas will also have to start to learn some foreign languages as well. So do you think taking a licence test in another language compromises road safety?

Well, you can let us know your thoughts on our web site or you can give us a call. And coming up, the seven-week program to help students and parents