Thursday, 29 April 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
13. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when he expects driver tests to resume for persons that have completed the EDT; if additional driving instructors will be recruited to eliminate the backlog when tests resume; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22365/21]
During the level 5 period, driving tests will be available only to those who are involved in essential services, including essential retail work. The Road Safety Authority offers driving tests to those who have completed their required 12 Essential Driver Training lessons and can produce evidence that they are an essential worker, in accordance with Government definitions. No exceptions can be made.
While I fully appreciate the inconvenience this poses, I must emphasise, that these decisions have 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 in so far as is possible and minimising social contacts.
Any decision regarding the reopening of the services will be determined in consultation with the relevant health authorities.
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 services can resume as soon as it is safe to do so. The safety of the public is of paramount importance at this time, and in this as in all aspects of the Covid-19 crisis, my Department will be guided by NPHET and national experts.
The RSA is making good progress in recruiting an additional 40 driver testers, that were sanctioned by my Department and the expectation is that they will be available to conduct tests by the end of June 2021. In addition to the existing complement of driver testers, this will add much needed capacity to the
Approved Driving Instructors (ADIS) are entirely independent operators. It remains down to individual driving schools and instructors to meet the demand for lessons as they see fit when normal service resumes.
Driver CPC training has been classified as essential and training has been taking place during the recent restrictions. There are many training organisations who have facilitated inhouse training for their own drivers, other organisations who have facilitated training to the public and in addition to this some CPC training organisations have chosen not to conduct training during level 5.
In summer 2020 an extension was provided for the holders of Driver CPC cards expiring between 1stFeb 2020 and 31stAugust 2020, a further extension was granted to this group of drivers recently in addition to making provision for the holders of CPC cards that expire or are due to expire between 1stSept 2020 and 30thJune 2021. Any driver who holds a card that expired or is due to expire within that timescale will benefit from an extension to their expiry date. This will take the pressure off some drivers having to complete their training during restrictions.
While the Theory Test centres (facilitated by Prometric) have been closed during level 5 restrictions, they have put provision in place for drivers who wish to complete a bus/truck theory test or case study theory test so they can complete these tests remotely. The link below will provide more information for the driver on the theory test and how to check if their laptop/desktop is compatible etc.
15. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of persons waiting on a driver theory test, CPC case study for haulage drivers, driver education training and driver tests; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22367/21]
The details requested are held by the Road Safety Authority. I have therefore referred this 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.