Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Transport Darren O’Rourke today called for the Minister for Transport to address the massive backlog of people now waiting to take a driving test.
Deputy O’Rourke’s comments come as the Road Safety Authority confirmed to him via a parliamentary question that there are now 72,738 people awaiting a driving test.
Speaking today, the Meath East TD said: “Due to the understandable and necessary cancellation of driving tests throughout the pandemic, a huge backlog of people waiting to sit their test has now built up.
“The RSA has confirmed to me that there are now 72,738 people on the waiting list, with some constituents telling me they have to wait months for a test date.
“The delays in driving lessons are having a knock-on effect here, with 23,338 of those on the waiting list unable to now sit their test, due to not being able to finish the mandatory number of driver training lessons on time.
“This is causing massive problems for people who need to drive to get to work and will a bigger issue next month when children will need to be dropped to school.
“Without a test date, and therefore without a full licence, people who rely on a car are really struggling.
“The Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, needs to address this issue urgently.
“The RSA have said tests have now resumed at reduced capacity, with those who had a test booked before the pandemic prioritised. But without further action now, this problem is going to persist and potentially worsen.
“The Minister needs to consider hiring additional testers to deal with the huge waiting list and consult with testers and their union representatives about extending operating hours to deal with the backlog.”