May 18, 2020
Solutions not sympathy needed to address driving test delays – Darren O’Rourke TD

Sinn Féin TD for Meath East Darren O’Rourke has today said a new approach to driving lessons and driving tests may now be needed in light of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

Responding to comments from Transport Minister Shane Ross, O’Rourke said the testing backlog was having a significant impact on young people in particular and solutions, not sympathy, was needed.

He said;

“Another consequence of this continuing public health emergency has been the cancellation of driving lessons and driving tests for thousands of people across the State. It is reported that the backlog in driving tests is already in excess of 20,000. This includes young people, already disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, denied access to a test and to a full licence. 

“Thousands are caught in limbo, with a full driving licence being a requirement for work for many also.

“Yesterday on national media, Minister Shane Ross said he had ‘sympathy’ for young drivers who needed to get on the road. Sympathy is not enough. The Minister should work with his Department officials, with Trade Unions and representative groups to find a solution. This is particularly important given the fact that we do not know how long we will have to live with Covid-19 physical distancing restrictions.

“Perspex dividing screens, PPE for instructors and testers, shorter driving routes and or a substantial alterations as necessary to the traditional testing routine, such as enclosed testing areas, should be examined.  

“Driver and road safety should remain paramount but sympathy from Minister Ross is not enough. Driving instructors, examiners and their unions must be consulted urgently. Minister must outline what plans he intends to put in place to deal with this escalating problem.”

Follow us online

Latest Tweets

.@MaryLouMcDonald pays tribute to colleague and friend @ImeldaMunster as she announces she will not seek re-election


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Matt Carthy TD, has condemned the resumption of air strikes by Israel against the people of Gaza


Bus and train drivers deserve fair pay and conditions - @cathalboylansf

“We need a properly funded Executive restored now and parties working together to protect public sector workers and services from heartless Tory cuts."

Sinn Féin has been forced to put down a motion of no confidence in the Minister for Justice because this government is not listening

We cannot have a Justice Minister who refuses to acknowledge the political failures that allowed our communities become unsafe – @MaryLouMcDonald

Load More