Wednesday, 21 October 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
35. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the waiting time for a first driver test by centre; the measures he is taking to address the delays; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31799/20]
Specific details on the number of persons awaiting a driver test at each centre is held by the Road Safety Authority. I have therefore referred this part of the question to the Authority for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response has not been received within ten days.
My Department is remaining in close contact with the RSA who are examining ways of increasing the number of tests within the current health constraints. I am pleased to say, my Department has already given approval to the RSA to retain 18 driver testers on temporary contracts due to expire in October and November, and to rehire up to 19 testers whose contracts expired in May. The authority is also examining the recruitment and training of new driver testers. However, I would like to stress that many of the issues impacting on the delivery of service are concerned with the throughput of centres themselves in light of the restrictions, rather than on the availability of staff.
The RSA are also looking at a number of other measures, including whether the number of tests a driver tester can perform each day can be increased and scheduling additional overtime tests, including testing on Saturdays to increase capacity.
36. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will examine solutions such as ultra-cabins and groundhogs to allow the State’s 1,700 driver instructors access to hygiene and sanitation facilities at driver test centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31835/20]
As this is a matter for the Road Safety Authority I have referred the Deputy's question to the Authority for direct response. Please contact my office if no reply is received within ten working days.
37. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a compromise will be found that will ensure that driver test instructors are provided with adequate bathroom facilities and sanitisation facilities at driver test centres as a precaution to combat the spread of Covid-19. [31836/20]
In accordance with the provisions of the Road Safety Authority Act 2006, as enacted by the Oireachtas, this is an operational matter for the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and it would therefore not be in accordance with the legislation if I were to issue instructions on such a matter. I have therefore referred the matter to the Authority for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response has not been received within ten days.