November 30, 2020
Fall in number of driving testers despite mammoth backlog – Darren O’Rourke TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, has today called on the Minister for Transport to take action to address the mammoth backlog for driving tests.

Teachta O’Rourke’s comments come as figures provided to him by the RSA show there are fewer driving testers now than there was this time last year, despite almost 100,000 people now waiting for a test.

Speaking today, the Meath East TD said;

“There are currently 93,791 people waiting for a driving test across the country, with just 139 driving testers currently employed.

“The number of driving testers is down from 145 this time last year, despite the fact that we now have a mammoth backlog for tests.

“It highlights that little to nothing has been done by Minister Eamon Ryan to try and remedy the impact Covid-19 has had on this sector.

“Without a test date, and therefore without a full licence, people who rely on a car are really struggling.

“It’s a huge issue for people in rural Ireland, where public transport simply isn’t an option.

“In May I called on the previous Minister, Shane Ross, to consult with examiners and their unions about implementing new measures to address the backlog of 20,000.

“In August I asked Minister Ryan to consider hiring additional testers to deal with the waiting list of 72,000.

“Here we are in November and as a result of the two Ministers ignoring the situation all year, we have a backlog of almost 100,000 and less testers than we had this time last year.

“If this isn’t addressed urgently, people could be waiting months to get an appointment in 2021, which will cause serious issues for those who need their car for work or family reasons.

“It’s clear we will need additional testers, in addition to longer opening hours and weekend tests to begin to tackle this backlog.” 

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