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New regulations for learner drivers harsh – Doherty

26 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Transport and Road Safety Spokesperson Senator Pearse Doherty has said there is an onus on the Government to speed up waiting times for driving tests if they are to introduce fines for learner drivers who are caught driving without a fully qualified driver in their car. Senator Doherty was critical of the new penalties introduced yesterday as part of the new Road Safety Strategy describing them as harsh given how long the waiting list is for driving tests.

Speaking today the Donegal Senator said, "The proposals to change the regulations governing driving with a provisional license are quite harsh when waiting times for driving tests are taken into consideration.

"If the Government are adamant about enforcing these new rules then there is an onus on them to invest in more driving testers and resources for test centres. They must do all in their power to bring down waiting times for driving tests.

"Furthermore, until such a time that waiting times for tests are at a reasonable level, these new regulations should not apply to anybody who has applied for a test.

"If the new regulations are enforced without exception then they are going to have a detrimental effect on the thousands of provisional license drivers who depend on their cars to get to work or even to bring their kids to school.

"In the many parts of the country where transport infrastructure is scarce to say the least the effects of these regulations will be felt most." ENDS

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