28,646 still awaiting date for driving test 'completely unacceptable' - Imelda Munster TD
Sinn Féin’s Transport spokesperson Imelda Munster TD has described current waiting times for driving tests as “completely unacceptable”.
Despite the RSA’s goal to have a national average waiting time of no longer than ten weeks, in many areas people are waiting up to seven months. This does not include the staggering figure of 28,646 people who are awaiting a scheduled test date for a test.
Deputy Munster said:
“The RSA say they aim to have a national average waiting time for a driving test of no longer than 10 weeks.
“The figures I obtained this week show that target is not being met in up to half of state’s test centres. In Tipperary the longest wait time is 29 weeks, which is over 7 months. Churchtown, Mallow, Skibereen, Sligo, Tralee and Wicklow all have a longest waiting time of around 6 months.
“My real concern is that there are 28,646 people still awaiting a test date, which means that there are tens of thousands of people waiting even longer than the wait time data from the RSA suggests.
“The main factor causing this is that there are nowhere near enough testers to deal with the demand.
“A significant number of testers have retired in recent years. 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 and is simply not enough. The Minister needs to support the RSA in recruiting significant numbers of new testers to cope with demand.
“Recently introduced legislation which has imposed new penalties on those allowing their cars to be used by unaccompanied learner drivers has presumably led to an increase in those seeking to obtain a full licence.
"I flagged this with the Minister ahead of the introduction of that legislation, but the response has been completely inadequate.
“This situation has been ongoing for a long time and it is completely unacceptable that this hasn’t been resolved to date.”