Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Robert Troy TD has said the commitment made by Minister Ross to reduce the waiting times for driving tests across the county, is not coming close to being met. Deputy Troy used his priority question time in Dáil Éireann to question the Minister for Transport on the unacceptable waiting times.
Commenting as 377 cars driven by unaccompanied learner drivers have been seized by Gardaí since the introduction of new legislation in December, Deputy Troy said, “At the time the legislation was changed, and the Clancy amendment introduced, I implored Minister Ross to consider the learner drivers, particularly those in rural Ireland. I asked him to ensure that learner drivers would be given a fair shot at taking their driving tests in a timely manner without having to wait months.
“Driving is a lifeline for many young people in rural areas to enable them to get to college or go to work. Frankly, the fact that the Minister has not made any progress on reducing the waiting lists shows that he and the Government are out of touch with the needs of the younger generation in rural Ireland. There are no alternatives, no public transport, no rural taxis, and roads without cycling or walking paths.
“The RSA has committed to waiting times of no more than ten weeks. That is laughable and far from the reality in most test centres where it can be up to double. The fact that almost eight cars per day have been impounded from unaccompanied learner drivers shows that the Gardaí are certainly doing their job, but it also shows that there are many learner drivers who are willing to take the risk out of desperation.
“The Minister needs to realise that these issues exist outside of his constituency where there is no alternatives. He should commit to introducing a mandatory maximum waiting time and put the resources in place to ensure this”, concluded Deputy Troy.