Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan – Monaghan Niamh Smyth has said the commitment made by Minister Ross to reduce the waiting times for driving tests across the county, is not coming close to being met. Deputy Smyth has again raised the unacceptable waiting times for motorists in Cavan an Monaghan with the Minister Shane Ross.
Deputy Smyth said, “In Cavan 432 are waiting to have their test scheduled while 384 have had their test scheduled but are still waiting on their test. In Monaghan 170 are waiting to be schedule and 259 have been scheduled but waiting on their test. According to the Road Safety Authority, on top of these numbers 355 people in Cavan are completing their lessons and will be looking for their rest once complete while in Monaghan 193 are currently undertaking their lessons. I’ve been advised that the average waiting time in Cavan is 11 weeks and 13 weeks in Monaghan.. I’ve raised this time and time again since my election in 2016. In many instances I’ve seen cases where the completion of their test is holding up taking up full time employment. It’s simply not acceptable.”
Commenting as 377 cars driven by unaccompanied learner drivers have been seized by Gardaí since the introduction of new legislation in December, Deputy Smyth said, “At the time the legislation was changed, and the Clancy amendment introduced, my colleague and Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson for Transport Robert Troy implored Minister Ross to consider the learner drivers, particularly those in rural Ireland. I asked him to ensure that learner drivers would be given a fair shot at taking their driving tests in a timely manner without having to wait months.
“Driving is a lifeline for many young people in rural areas to enable them to get to college or go to work. Frankly, the fact that the Minister has not made any progress on reducing the waiting lists shows that he and the Government are out of touch with the needs of the younger generation in rural Ireland. There are no alternatives, no public transport, no rural taxis, and roads without cycling or walking paths.
“The RSA has committed to waiting times of no more than ten weeks. The fact that almost eight cars per day have been impounded from unaccompanied learner drivers shows that the Gardaí are certainly doing their job, but it also shows that there are many learner drivers who are willing to take the risk out of desperation.
“The Minister needs to realise that these issues exist outside of his constituency where there is no alternatives. He should commit to introducing a mandatory maximum waiting time and put the resources in place to ensure this”, concluded Deputy Smyth.
Please find the latest response from the RSA attached for your review: RSA Driving test waiting list February 2019