AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- Netherlands officials said they have determined it is legal for driving instructors to trade lessons for sex, provided the arrangement was the teacher's idea.
Transport minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen and Justice minister Ard van der Steur wrote a letter to the Dutch parliament in response to a question from Gert-Jan Segers, a member of parliament with the socially conservative Christian Union party.
Segers had sought a ban on the practice, dubbing it "illegal prostitution" because the hypothetical students wouldn't have licenses to practice prostitution and wouldn't be paying the proper taxes required for the escort profession in the Netherlands.
However, the ministers said in their letter that it would only constitute prostitution if the arrangement was suggested by the student rather than the teacher.
"It's not about offering sexual activities for remuneration, but offering a driving lesson. It is important that the initiative lies with the driving instructor, and focuses on offering a driving lesson, with the payment provided in sexual acts. When a sexual act offered in lieu of financial payment, that is prostitution," the letter reads.
The ministers said the so-called "ride for a ride" practice might be "undesirable," but it is legal provided both parties are over the age of 18 and the instructor is the one who suggests the sexual payment.
Web searches for "ride for a ride" in the Netherlands have reportedly skyrocketed since the question was raised in parliament.