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75 additional driver testers to be recruited to deal with backlog

This will bring the potential total number of testers to over 200.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS approved the recruitment of an additional 75 driver testers by the RSA. 

This will bring the potential total number of testers to over 200 and is an attempt to address the current backlog in the Driver Testing Service.

The new hires will be in addition to the 30 extra testers who were previously sanctioned in July 2022 and have been fully deployed since the end of last month. 

The testers will be recruited through open competition.

The Department of Transport has said that it is expected the new testers will be trained and ready to work from October of this year. 

“With these new testers in place, customers will see improvements in their waiting times and the RSA expect the backlog of applicants to be returned to target customer service levels by the end of the first quarter of 2024,” the Department said in a statement today. 

Demand for driving tests is now at unprecedented levels, the Department noted.

Applications in 2022 were 28% higher than 2021 levels and 27% up on 2018 pre-Covid pandemic levels.

The current demand for driving tests has a number of contributory factors, the Department said, including: an increase in application volumes, with more learners applying for and becoming eligible to take their driving test since the start of 2022, increased capacity and take up of the Driver Theory Test, and an increase in Advanced Driving Instructors’ and their capacity to deliver lessons to learner drivers.

“This approval for new testers for the RSA is a positive and proactive response to an ongoing problem within the Driver Testing Service across the state,” Minister of State with responsibility for road safety Jack Chambers said in a statement. 

“By increasing the number of driver testers, the RSA can provide the testing service they are committed to delivering and a quality service each customer deserves,” Chambers said. 

“The progress made in the driver testing service will be carefully monitored, and the RSA will work to provide as many tests as possible as safely as possible.”

Road collisions 

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland earlier today, Chambers said the rise in road deaths across Ireland so far this year is “of serious concern”. 

“There have been too many lives lost again this year and it’s something that we’re absolutely prioritising,” he said. 

Chambers said there has been engagement at the ministerial road safety committee regarding the issue. 

“We are renewing our efforts nd just to reassure people of that, we’ve seen very, very concerning trends in 2022,” he said. 

Chambers said there will be a review on speed limits presented to him in the coming weeks. 

He said that over 200 people have been seriously injured so far this year.

Two teenagers were killed in a single-vehicle collision in Co Galway early yesterday morning. They have been named locally as Lukas Joyce from Annaghdown and Kirsty Bohan from Headford, both aged 14.

Two other teenagers were seriously injured in the crash.

“I know on a day which is so difficult for many people, I just want to express my own sympathies and to all the families who’ve lost loved ones over this weekend,” Chambers said.

“We’ll be renewing our efforts with An Garda Síochána and the other key agencies to ensure that we strengthen enforcement, make progress on the speeding review and increase the campaigns to ensure that people are aware of the serious issues that arise from speeding and other issues on our roads.”

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