Written answers

Thursday, 23 February 2006

4:00 pm

Photo of David StantonDavid Stanton (Cork East, Fine Gael)
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Question 120: To ask the Minister for Transport his plans to encourage more additional training of drivers in order to reduce the number of road accidents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7635/06]

Photo of Martin CullenMartin Cullen (Minister, Department of Transport; Waterford, Fianna Fail)
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The road safety strategy 2004-06 stated that compulsory initial practical training for motorcyclists would be introduced. A working group comprising motorcycle interests has been considering the appropriate standards that will apply in this area and the standards that instructors must comply with. Overseeing the introduction of such training will be the responsibility of the proposed road safety authority. Primary legislation is necessary to facilitate the introduction of compulsory initial practical training for motorcyclists and the necessary amendment to the Road Traffic Acts 1961 to 2004 will be brought forward as soon as practicable.

In order to ensure that a high standard of instruction is available to drivers proposals developed by my Department for the regulation and quality assurance of driving instruction will involve a test of the competence of individual driving instructors. A working group comprising representatives of my Department and of instruction interests has formulated the design of the standards that a driving instructor must meet. The standard will set out criteria for entry to the driving instructor profession and the three part exam comprising a written exam, a practical driving test and a test of instructional capability that instructors will have to pass in order to be registered.

Responsibility for implementing the standard of driving instruction and establishing a register of driving instructors will be with the proposed road safety authority. I am considering what arrangements will be put in place to oversee implementation of the standard in the context of the establishment of the authority. As part of this process the standard referred to above will form the basis for a consultation document to be issued in the next few months which will set out the requirements that driving instructors will have to comply with in order to be registered.

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