Driver theory tests should be deemed ‘essential service’ to tackle backlog

By Maurice Garvey

YOUNG people waiting on a driver theory test are finding, at least, an extra month added onto the six month waiting lists, due to the suspension of the service in line with Level 5 restrictions.

The backlog for driver theory tests was 45,000 in September, but this is likely to be significantly higher now following the second lockdown the country had pre-Christmas.

Corey Carey2 1

Corey Carey

Clondalkin lad Corey Carey (17) was waiting six months for his theory test, which was due to take place this week on January 5.

However, before the end of December he received notice from the Road Safety Authority that it’s driving theory test services are suspended until at least February 1, 2021.

Cllr William Carey (SF), who is Corey’s grandfather, has called for driver theory tests to be deemed ‘essential service’ in an effort to tackle the backlog.

“Driving tests are still going ahead and two people are involved in that. The theory test is simple enough. It takes place in a controlled environment. There is no logical reason they cannot go into the theory test centre alone, sit apart from anyone else and complete the test on the PC. You could have someone in there to clean down the computer, table and chair before the next person comes in.”

Cllr Carey said the cancellation of driver theory test affects younger people especially, and the long delays are “putting their life on hold”.

 “Obtaining a driving licence is a route to employment and for many it is often as important as passing their leaving certificate,” he said.

“Corey wants to work, get a job, move on with his life. The whole process to get a theory test, driving lessons, a licence now means young people could be waiting from two and half to three years for a drivers licence.”

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