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Over 28,600 people waiting on driving test date - but RSA says backlog is improving

The longest wait times in the country are in Churchtown, Mallow, Skibereen, Sligo, Tralee and Wicklow.

Image: Shutterstock/shutterupeire

MORE THAN 28,600 people are waiting to get their driving test date.

The figures obtained by Sinn Féin’s Imelda Munster have been branded “completely unacceptable” by the TD. 

Despite the Road Safety Authority’s (RSA) target to have a national average waiting time of no longer than ten weeks, in many areas people are waiting up to seven months. 

The longest wait times in the country are in Churchtown, Mallow, Skibereen, Sligo, Tralee and Wicklow, which are around 6 months.

“The main factor causing this is that there are nowhere near enough testers to
deal with the demand,” said Munster, who added that a significant number of testers have retired in recent years. 

She said minister needs to support the RSA in recruiting significant numbers of new
testers to cope with demand. 

Munster added: 

Recently introduced legislation which has imposed new penalties on those allowing their cars to be used by unaccompanied learner drivers has presumably led to an increase in those seeking to obtain a full licence.
I flagged this with the Minister ahead of the introduction of that legislation, but the response has been completely inadequate.
This situation has been ongoing for a long time and it is completely unacceptable that this hasn’t been resolved to date.

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast this morning, RSA’s Moyagh Murdock, said the backlog is improving.

“We have been recruiting and that has now started to pay dividends and we are seeing a very rapid improvement in the numbers,” she said.

“Over the last three or four weeks since we have had almost all of those new testers trained up and fully operational we’re making big inroads into the actual waiting lists.
have been recruiting that is now starting to pay dividends.”

Murdoch said the average wait time is now below ten weeks, but added that there are a “couple of hotspots” around the country where wait times are longer. 

She said the RSA tries to deploy testers to those areas, but added that recruitment has struggled in Cork and Kerry regions. 

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