Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Incoming government must cut numbers driving on provisional licenses

11 June, 2007


Speaking this morning Donegal Sinn Féin Councillor Padraig MacLochlainn called for a targeted approach from the new Government to ensure that the number of drivers on provisional licences is drastically reduced and road safety is improved as a result.

Councillor MacLochlainn said, "Sinn Féin is unique in our approach to road safety as we seek an all-Ireland approach regarding an all-Ireland Road Safety strategy, a single Road Safety Authority for the entire island, a common penalty points system, the harmonisation of speed limits and the penalty points system and the driver licensing and testing system.

"Almost 50 per cent of those involved in single vehicle collisions are driving unlicensed or with a provisional licence only. This is worrying in light of the figures released this morning showing that 15,239 drivers were on their sixth, seventh, eight or even ninth provisional licence last year. This is despite fact that the outgoing Fianna Fáil/PD Government promised to cut the numbers of drivers on provisional licenses.

"The fact that the 26 Counties is the only State in Western Europe that allows drivers to drive unaccompanied before passing a practical driving test needs to be addressed. It makes no sense that someone holding a provisional licence can turn up for a driving test, fail it miserably and then drive back home in his or her car.

"Sinn Féin supports the hiring of more permanent driving testers in agreement with unions to clear the 26 Counties backlog, an improved and affordable driving test system and to include Driver Training and Road Safety programmes in the school curriculum, using Transition Year or 5th Year to introduce practical driver training in a safe environment."

Críoch

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