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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019
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Hundreds had to re-sit theory test thanks to a computer glitch (but it could have been a lot worse)

In total, 1,216 people were told they had failed the test when they had actually passed

Over 600 people had to resit the test as a result of a technical fault
Over 600 people had to resit the test as a result of a technical fault
Image: Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland

A COMPUTER GLITCH which resulted in hundreds of people having to resit the driver theory test could have potentially been a lot more damaging to road users, the AA has said.

The glitch meant that over 1,200 people were told that they had failed the test when they had in fact passed.

The driver theory test consists of 40 questions selected randomly from 1,250 potential ones. You have to get 35 answers right out of 40 in order to pass.

A technical error meant that one question of the 1,250 on the test came up marked as the incorrect answer when it was answered correctly.

The glitch entered the system on 26 June after a routine software upgrade and was in the system until it was spotted in November, after someone complained about their test result.

Of the the 1,216 candidates who failed the test as a result of the glitch, 610 had already re-taken it. Nobody passed the test who should have failed.

A spokesperson for AA Ireland said that although it was an error from the Road Safety Authority (RSA), the matter could have been a lot worse if the mistake had happened the other way around, and people who had failed the test had been told that they had passed.

“It would be significantly worse in terms of mopping up afterwards if it had been the other way around – if people who had actually failed had been told in error that they had passed,” said the spokesperson.

learner driver Learner Drivers Source: Gareth Chaney/Photocall Ireland

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), which delivers the test, apologised to anyone who was affected by the glitch.

In a statement, the RSA said that they had almost tracked down all of the people who had been given incorrect test scores and were giving a refund to anyone who had to take the test again.

“We have successfully contacted almost 100% of the affected candidates and less than 100 remain uncontacted,” they said.

“Further attempts will be made and we hope to reach remaining individuals by 23 November close of business.”

The AA spokesperson said that they expect the RSA to tighten up monitoring of their computer systems following the glitch.

“I feel sure that extra checks and balances will be put in place to ensure that it won’t happen again,” said the spokesperson.

“You could of course promise that there wouldn’t be another computer mistake in the future, but that would be a naive promise to make.”

Read: This driver tried to fool gardaí with a fake driver’s licence – and failed

Read: The courts say they have an 86% conviction rate for drink-driving

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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