Wednesday, 24 March 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
347. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the way in which a person (details supplied) can progress the issue of their driving instructor not logging their final two driving lessons on the Road Safety Authority portal which is now closed. [15452/21]
The purpose of the Road Safety Authority's Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) online portal is to allow ADIs to upload confirmation of a learner's completion of each individual module laid out in the Essential Driver Training (EDT) system.
As the Deputy is aware, EDT is currently suspended as level 5 restrictions specify that ADIs may only offer lessons to candidates who have completed all 12 of their required EDT modules and have a test date confirmed. No EDT data can be uploaded to the online portal, therefore, because no EDT is currently taking place.
Having allowed an additional 7 week window in which to upload any outstanding EDT sessions completed prior to the imposition of level 5, the Road Safety Authority has now written to every ADI in the country to confirm that the facility to upload EDT through the online portal will be closed until the 5 April at the earliest.
In respect of the constituent mentioned by the Deputy, I must be clear that my Department has no sight of learner data and can neither comment on nor intervene in any individual case. I have thus forwarded this part of the query to the Road Safety Authority for direct response. I would ask that the Deputy contact my offices if no reply is received within ten working days.
348. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will consider allowing essential workers to be allowed to sit driving lessons at level 5 and at subsequent levels given the number of persons this would affect is relatively small. [15462/21]
Under level 5 restrictions, Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) may continue to provide lessons, but only in such circumstances where the learner in question has already been scheduled a test date. Essential Driver Training (EDT) is thus currently suspended.
While my Department is fully aware of the difficulties that this poses for essential workers who have not yet completed their 12 EDT lessons, I must emphasise that this decision has been taken in line with official public health recommendations that everyone in Ireland work to limit the spread of the virus by staying at home and minimising social contacts in so far as is possible.
Officials both in my Department and in the Road Safety Authority are keeping the public health situation under constant review and are working extremely hard to ensure that EDT can resume as soon as it is safe to do so.