The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has called on multiple learner permit holders to apply for their test ‘without delay’. In a recent statement, the RSA announced that 41,316 people are on their fourth or subsequent learner permit for a car. Of these people 8,663 are on their tenth or successive permit.
In a statement last month RSA CEO Moyagh Murdock said that ‘The practice of people continuing to drive on learner permits without ever taking a test is unacceptable and unnecessary in today’s circumstances, where the national average waiting time to take a test is just over six weeks.’ He followed by announcing considerations to increase the cost of a learner’s permit, decrease the duration of the permit, introduce mandatory lessons with an approved driving instructor or a requirement to take an additional driving test before another permit can be issued for a fifth and subsequent learner permit holder.
New legislation introduced in December 2018 allows for harsher penalties on unaccompanied permit holders. Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau has said that since the introduction of this legislation ‘more than 1,600 vehicles have been impounded by An Garda Síochána from unaccompanied learner permit holders.’
Murdock also said that ‘there’s never been a better time than now to book it.’ With the national average wait time to take the test at just over six weeks, learner drivers are being ‘caught off guard by how quickly they are being called for a test.’ Throughout 2018, the RSA has recruited 83 new driver testers and opened four new test centres. Murdock hammers home his point: ‘Passing your test could mean lower insurance costs in the order of 20-30%, and, more importantly, make you a better, safer driver, so no more excuses!’
Conor Capplis – Editor