Deputy Pa Daly, Sinn Féin TD for Kerry, has expressed his concern over the lack of detailed plans for the return of driving tests.
“Figures from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) show a county by county breakdown of the number of people waiting for a driving test across the State,” said Teachta Daly.
Skyrocketing of Numbers
“The figures show that there are 55,027 people waiting for a driving test across the 49 testing centres in the State, with 954 in Tralee and 765 in Killarney.
“These numbers have skyrocketed from the 20,000 previously reported.
“Covid-19 has greatly exacerbated an existing problem and it is essential the government provides clear plans as to how driving lessons and driving tests can be reintroduced in a safe manner.
Shorter Driving Routes
Perspex dividing screens, PPE for instructors and testers, shorter driving routes all need to be examined.
“At the moment, RSA guidance is that approved driving Instructors are not employed by the RSA, and accordingly it is up to them to determine their own method of operating in accordance with public health guidelines. This is unacceptable.
Planning Called For
“We have the ability to look at how other countries are managing this issue post-Covid. For example, Canada has mandated clear sanitising protocols and use of masks.
“By now driving instructors, examiners and their unions should have been consulted along with the Road Safety Authority and the Department of Transport.
“We need a plan on how we get over 55,000 people through their driving test safely,” he said.