There are currently over 120,000 people waiting to take the theory test.
Irish driving instructor Kevin Horgan from Ladybird Driving School in Dublin has said that the backlog of driving tests could take between two to three years to fix. There are currently over 60,000 people waiting to do their driving test and over 120,000 people waiting to do their theory test in Ireland due to a backlog created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking on Ireland AM on Thursday, Horgan said that even if the nearly 70,000 people waiting to take the theory test passed it today, it would be unlikely that they would be able to get on the roads until after 2022. "The logistics behind it are, that we have about 180,000 candidates waiting to do the driving test, and we've got about 70,000 waiting to do the theory test," he said. "If the theory test candidates pass their test today, by law they can only sit their test in six months’ time - which will be January, February, March, next year.
"That's the 70,000 doing the test in 2022. So, then we've got the 180,000 who are waiting to get a date for their test and they're held up capacity-wise because they just don't have the date yet with the RSA."
Horgan added that while the Department of Transport has issued measures to try and improve the situation, there is still a significant lack of instructors within the country. The instructor is also calling on the Government to allow non-essential workers to begin driving lessons and tests again. "Across the country, there is not enough instructors actually, there are about 1,750 instructors in total, but about 1,000 are full time so we need to address that," he continued. "We're just calling for the non-essentials to be allowed back as well."
Last month, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) opened online theory tests for people who are sitting exams to get a learner permit for a bus or a truck. However, the assessments will expand to include theory tests for cars in the coming months. RSA Spokesman Brian Farrell told Mid-West Radio that they are hoping to accommodate 4,000 tests a month but are still hoping to reopen physical test centres in the near future. "We hope to have a monthly output of about 4,000 tests a month, but it won't be until later in the year that we can accommodate significant numbers of online theory tests," he said. "That's why it really is the reopening of the actual physical test centres, where we can deliver 50,000 tests a month, that the solution lies for the theory tests." From 10 May ‘essential workers’ have been allowed to undertake Essential Driver Training (EDT) lessons with an Approved Driving Instructor.
EDT lessons apply to any essential workers as well as people who already began their lessons before new restrictions came into place.
See full article from Joe.ie click here
The Road Safety Authority is planning to allow driving instructors to sit in on the test itself. The initial pilot of the changes will take place in Waterford and Thurles over a 6-week period. In a letter from the RSA to driving instructors said they plan to proceed with the trial changes from 23 March to 1 May. The RSA confirmed the move, saying that the objective was to bring together training and assessment.
Training and assessment
It added that: “The objective of this initiative is to bring together two very important stages in a candidate’s learning to drive experience – their training and assessment.” Instructors will not be allowed to interfere in the test and are intended to be there only to observe or as support. Strict sanctions are said to be in place for any instructors breaching these rules.
The main aims of the changes are to reduce the amount of complaints from those who fail the test and the amount of appeals. It also aims to provide further insights for the instructors into why their students are failing.
Tipperary instructor Linda Dowling said she is happy with the trial being in her area. As instructors we’ve been looking for this facility for a long time. Sometimes with our pupils this, that or the other happens on the test and it’s unusual for that person to do that. We don’t know whether it’s nerves or whether they have actually made those mistakes so if there is an extra pair of eyes in the car we can say ‘oh yes I saw you do that there.
Read the full article on the Journal.ie or follow this link.