26 April 2021
By Mary Bermingham
Sinn Féin’s Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD has said the lack of action to deal with the massive driving test backlog is completely unacceptable and is causing serious disruption for people.
The Cork South Central TD said:
“Sinn Féin have been raising the delays with driving tests and lessons for some time now, but the Minister for Transport seems to be asleep at the helm.
“Getting a driving licence is an absolute essential for people, but with the system closed for months, it’s causing havoc for people.
“Even frontline workers cannot sit a test now unless they completed their 12 EDT lessons before the system closed.
“Sinn Féin have asked the Minister for Transport to consider using rapid antigen testing for the sector, to provide another level of protection, on top of PPE, to help re-open this vital service.
“Unions representing Approved Driving Instructors have also sent proposals to the Minster and to the RSA, with a range of actions that will help address the backlog.
“The theory test is also still suspended. We asked that this test would be put online, which would allow people sit it remotely, while also ensuring its integrity is protected.
“We are still waiting for this to be introduced.
“The latest information we have shows 98,414 people are waiting to sit their driving test, while another 79,276 are waiting to sit their theory test.
“776 of these were waiting for a driving test in Ballincollig, and a shocking 5,250 people waiting at Sarsfield Rd.
“Unfortunately Minister Ryan isn’t treating this issue with the urgency it deserves.
“It can’t be pushed down the agenda any longer. It is vital that driving lessons and tests can resume with appropriate safety procedures in place. The Minister must find a solution within existing constraints.”