Shortage of driver test centres adds to chaos created by Minister Ross – Munster
Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Transport Imelda Munster TD has said “the buck stops with Minister Shane Ross” on the matter of driver test waiting times.
Driving test application numbers are expected to soar once legislation, currently at report stage in the Dáil, passes to penalise car owners who allow learner drivers to knowingly operate their vehicles.
Minister Ross said that the current average waiting time for a test is 13 weeks. However, Deputy Munster said that there are parts of the state where people are waiting up to seven months for a test, and this does not include learner drivers who are still awaiting a test appointment.
Deputy Munster said:
“It’s seven months in Tralee, and six months in both Cavan and Monaghan.
“Sinn Féin supports all measures to improve safety on our roads.
“However, the buck stops with the Minister. He should have foreseen this issue, and he must take immediate action to avoid further chaos around driving test waiting times.
“A significant number of testers have retired in recent years. Again, this is foreseeable, and I do not accept that new testers could not have been recruited to ensure that these retirements did not affect the service.
“The recruitment process has been slow; 23 new testers since last October is simply not enough. The Minister needs to support the RSA in recruiting significant numbers of new testers to cope with demand.
“The Minister also needs to seriously consider additional driver test centres. Drogheda does not have a centre and currently there are more than 2,500 people waiting for a test in Louth. There are similar cases right across the state.”