The RSA issued a press release relation to the gradual resumption of services. Coronavirus (COVID – 19)
The Driver Testing Service resumed services on Monday 29 June 2020. The service is resuming on a gradual basis with bus, truck and motorcycle tests starting on 29 June, driving tests for cars are expected to resume in mid to late July. Initially 14 driving test centres are opening, will all test centres gradually be reopening in the coming weeks. You can find further information on the resumption of the driver testing service and Covid-19 measures here
Driver Theory Test (DTT)
The Driver Theory Test resumed its service on Monday 8 June 2020, you can find further information on Covid-19 measures and how to book a driver theory test here. See theorytest.ie to make a booking and for more details.
National Driver Licence Service (NDLS)
The National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) resumed services on Monday 8 June 2020. The service resumed on a gradual basis and by Monday 29 June all NDLS centres, except Clifden and Belmullet, had reopened. You can find further information on the resumption of the NDLS service, Covid-19 measures, how to book an appointment and the extension of the validity of the expiry date of licences and learner permits here Please see ndls.ie to book an appointment and for all other information relating to the National Driver Licence Service.
National Car Testing Service (NCTS)
Following the Government announcement triggering Phase 3 resumption of services the National Car Testing Service have announced the reopening of further 16 testing centres from Monday 29 June. See here for more detail.
Vehicle owners are reminded of the 4 month test extension. The National Car Testing Service (NCTS) has now updated all records for those customers’ vehicles that qualified for the 4 month test extension as announced by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr Shane Ross in April.
What’s is the New Normal…
for Driving Lessons
Welcome back to driver tuition however, not as we know it. Remembering to stay safe is your responsibility and you now must follow the RSA ADI units’ guidelines for hygiene etiquette for the coronavirus under health & safety. You and your vehicle must comply with all aspects of Health & Safety with vehicle sanitation products, hand gels, face coverings and disposable seat covers etc.,
albeit, your back in business however, coronavirus has not gone away?
As a Minimum You will Have to…
Driving schools need to create their own COVID19 back to work “Sanitation Etiquette” and clearly state this for the public to read on advertisements, websites and social media platforms etc... Also, on the initial lesson appointment contact, over the phone or by email etc.,
Initial / Welcome Questions
The pupil should be asked if they have had the virus, have they been close to anyone with the virus, have they been in contact with anyone who has been traced and contacted by the HSE. Also ask, do they feel okay, do they have a temperature of 38 degrees or above, do they have a persistent cough or shortness of breath. (See HSE Website)
Before the Driving Lesson Begins
The following are some suggestions for sanitation solutions before and after driving lessons. See RSA ADI unit website or emails for more information and will be guided by the RSA and the HSE in relation to best practice.
Issued for information purposed only. If we have left anything out on this maybe make your comment.
The RSA released a press release on June 12th 2020 entitled Resumption of some RSA services from Monday 8 June 2020. An excerpt is as follows relating to ADI's and retrofitting or adapting vehicles
Read the full article here
An excerpt is as follows relating to ADI's and retrofitting or adapting vehicles Driving Lessons with Approved Driving Instructors. Please contact your approved driving instructor directly to enquire if there is any interruption to their service
The RSA cannot issue medical guidance to ADIs on COVID 19 and how they operate their businesses. As they are not RSA employees, ADIs should protect themselves, their families, and communities by following the official Government guidelines on hygiene and social distancing.
As mostly sole traders each ADI has an individual responsibility for their own welfare and that of their families and customers. In essence the RSA cannot dictate if an ADI can continue to trade.
While the RSA has taken the decision to suspend driving assessments, the continued provision of driver tuition can only be taken by the individual ADI taking into account their own personal circumstances.
RSA’s guidance on fitting Perspex panels or other physical barriers to the interior
of a vehicle during the Covid19 pandemic
If you are considering fitting your vehicle with perspex panels or any other physical barriers during the Covid19 pandemic, you should contact the vehicle’s original manufacturer or authorised distributor. They are best placed to advise if there are any safety implications or if it is possible to carry out the proposed fitting without affecting the performance of the vehicle’s safety features, e.g. airbags etc. You must also ensure that such any installation does not present a danger to the driver, occupants, or any other road user. It is important to remember that, under Irish road traffic regulations it is the responsibility of the owner and or driver to ensure that their vehicle is maintained in a roadworthy condition at all times when used in a public place.
Glazing for motor vehicles must meet with the requirements of UNECE Regulation 43 - Uniform provisions concerning the approval of safety glazing materials and their installation on vehicles. This Regulation sets out standards for safety glazing materials intended for installation as windscreens or other panes, or as partitioning. See extract below taken from this regulation regarding the general requirements for safety glazing.
All glazing materials, including glazing material for the manufacture of windscreens, shall be such that, in the event of shattering, the danger of bodily injury is reduced as far as possible. The glazing material shall be sufficiently resistant to the incidents likely to occur in normal traffic, and to atmospheric and temperature conditions, chemical action, combustion, and abrasion.
Safety glazing materials shall in addition be sufficiently transparent, shall not cause any noticeable distortions of objects as seen through the windscreen, and shall not give rise to any confusion between the colours used in road-traffic signs and signals. In the event of the windscreen's shattering, the driver shall still be able to see the road clearly enough to be able to brake and stop his vehicle safely.
Please note the regular light transmittance in the case of a windscreen and other glazing that is located in a position requisite for driving visibility shall not be less than 70%. It should be noted that if such panels or glazing is being fitted to a vehicle that is used for ‘hire and reward’ i.e. commercial purposes it is classed as a work place environment and will be governed by health and safety legislation.
It may be useful to contact the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) for information on additional health and safety / legal obligations that arise on this issue. See here their webpage on Driving for Work and their contact details here The RSA also refers you to the HSE Coronavirus- COVID-19 Public Health Advice and Guidance as per the following link; https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html
Issued June 12th, 2020 by the RSA.
Please follow this link to the complete article on the RSA Page
For those that may have missed it. An article appeared in the Irish Sun where Dara Browne reports of the progress or lack of it for Ireland’s ADI’s with the Heading BACK ON THE ROAD
Coronavirus in Ireland. (10 Jun 2020, 16:54) Follow this link to view the article. Opens a new page.
Among other aspects discussed in this article, Minister for Transport Shane Ross is quoted as stating
Some Road Safety Authority services - including the National Driver Licence Service, the Driver Theory Test, and the National Car Testing Service - began reopening on a gradual basis from June 8. But there are still "issues to overcome" in order for the Driver Testing Service to return, Transport Minister Shane Ross said. Earlier this week, he stated:
"While I do see the possibility of truck, bus and motorcycle testing resuming, in Phase 3, there are issues to overcome to recommence car driving tests. "These challenges include maintaining social distancing as a car driving test means close contact in an enclosed space between the driver tester and the learner driver for periods in excess of 15 minutes. "I can assure learner drivers that officials in my Department and the RSA are looking at all available options to get car driving tests started again as soon as possible."
No disclosures have been announced by the RSA however, there is little reasoning why Truck, Bus and Motorcyclists test cannot be conducted. Cars are problematic, because of the close proximity of the instructor or tester and the pupil… So social distancing will not work, even if it was reduced to the WHO recommendation of 1 metre.
That said a tester could travel in the back of the car with the ADI, allowed to ride shotgun in the front. Thus, maintaining to the letter of the law, as the learner would still have a fully qualified driver beside them during the driving test however, with the ADI playing no hand act, or part in the driving test.
This system is currently being used and is proven, within the ADI check Test system, where the tester rides in the back and evaluates the ADI and operates very well.
In the absence of any clarification or instruction for ADI’s to prepare, so what is the most likely outcome in the preparation for a return to driver tuition and testing.
Other conditions could be that a small questionnaire to the pupil, prior to entry to the vehicle to the pupil from a social distance ask.
So, before proceeding with any of the undermentioned, our advice is to wait for the full list of recommendations from the RSA ADI unit, who will have liaised with the HSE.
Also bearing in mind that the RSA are still accepting all test applications which will lead to additional waiting times, will mean that ADI will be busy well into 2021 and beyond, and in addition the RSA may well need additional driving testers employed. So, in the interest of clarity and forward planning the time is now for ADI’s to plan and get back to doing what they do best…. Training drivers with a life skill.
Unfortunately, the Industry does not have a representative body similar to other industries that have put the case forward on their behalf. It appears that the ADI unit is free to ignore the individual ADI calls for a planned and sensible re-opening of the industry or progress thereof.
It appears that the ADI is left in the dark and does not have any influence on or within the ADI unit itself. This is something that should have been remedied many years ago as the ADI “forum” appears to be the RSA ADI Unit policing the RSA ADI Unit and is not directly answerable to the ADI for whom they act..
Wish to see the Irish Sun Article Click Here
Driver Protection Screens
As their is still no indication when our industry is getting back to business and no plans as to how you can protect, your clients, driving testers and yourselves, so placing an investment without recommendations in vehicle screens maybe a waste of money and time, therefore we suggest you wait for guidance from the RSA.
However, that said, we have come across a website for you to consider or view what these screens look like in your tuition vehicle.... This company like many others, if you research, supply custom cut Driver Protection Screens, they say will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Taxis, Limos, Buses, Driving School Cars and more, these Protection Screens can fit in any vehicle and protect both the driver and the passengers.
They are made from clear, hygienic perspex.
We are not recommending that you go out and purchase these screens , not at least until the RSA comes out and recommends how ADI's proceed with the reopening of their businesses which is well overdue..
The supply cost for an average vehicle is around €349. For special requests or questions please make an enquiry