Fianna Fáil TD for Roscommon/Galway Eugene Murphy has highlighted the fact that a total of 45,425 people nationally are waiting to sit their driving tests in centres throughout the country with some drivers left waiting over four months in some areas. It has also emerged that there is currently no driver tester employed in County Leitrim and only one tester in County Roscommon.
Deputy Murphy recently tabled a parliamentary question on the matter with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross. Figures from the Road Safety Authority were provided which provides the data relating to driving test waiting periods throughout the country.
“Figures from the Road Safety Authority indicate that there are currently a total of 45,425 people to sit their driving test in centres around the country. A breakdown of the figures show that there are over 900 people waiting for a test appointment in County Galway where the average waiting time is over ten weeks. There are 331 people waiting for a test appointment in County Roscommon where drivers are waiting an average of 11.5 weeks or almost three months. Waiting figures in County Leitrim are at 435, County Longford 300 and Sligo 599 and Athlone waiting figures are at 354.
“Alarmingly it has also emerged that there is currently no driver tester in County Leitrim which is simply not good enough. In response to my parliamentary question the Road Safety Authority outlined that they will review the need to headquarter a driver tester in Carrick-on-Shannon and I am calling on Minister Ross to appoint a driver tester in County Leitrim. There is also only one driver tester in County Roscommon where people are waiting up to three months for a test so there is a need for an additional driver tester in the county.
“These type of waiting lists and waiting periods are simply unacceptable as many people are left in limbo land for up to three and four months. Many of these people may be waiting for a full licence for employment purposes or a job application may be hinging on them having a full licence while other drivers are paying exorbitant levels of car insurance for provisional licences and they are being left waiting long periods to sit their driving test.
“More driver testers need to be appointed to tackle this issue,” concluded Deputy Murphy.