Written answers

Tuesday, 28 February 2023

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Driver Test

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

192. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the steps that are being taken to reduce overly-long waitlist times for driving tests with the Road Safety Authority. [9781/23]

Photo of Jack ChambersJack Chambers (Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The operation of the national driving test service is the statutory responsibility of the Road Safety Authority (RSA). I would like to assure the Deputy that the Authority is working closely with my Department to address the issue of Driver Testing waiting times.

The Driver Testing service has been under significant pressure to meet unprecedented demand which is 28% up on 2021 figures and 27% up on 2018 pre Covid-19 pandemic figures.

I am told that the current increase in demand for driving tests and the time to invitation for learner drivers has a number of contributing factors which include: an increase in learner permits in circulation which has grown by about 30% since Q3 2019; increased capacity in the Driver Theory Test when the service resumed post Covid-19 and an increase in Approved Driving Instructors capacity to deliver lessons to learner drivers which has increased the volume of learners becoming eligible and ready to take their test.

The Authority conducted a review of the current and evolving needs of the driver testing service in 2022, following which my department sanctioned an increase in the permanent driver tester headcount from 100 to 130. I am informed that the RSA has deployed the majority of successful candidates across the driver testing service, with a focus on geographical areas with the longest waiting lists. It is expected that the remainder will be deployed by the end of Q1 2023.

With the need for further review given the continued backlog, the RSA conducted an updated analysis of demand and capacity in late 2022 and early 2023. My Department is actively engaged with the RSA in evaluating this subsequent request for additional resources.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.