THE Waterford waiting list for driver tests stands at 806 people as of last week. This is broken down as 520 for Waterford City test centre and 286 for the Dungarvan test centre. Independent Councillor Joe Kelly says that these figures are “just too long”.
“I believe this is a major problem and needs to be addressed urgently as it affects people’s everyday lives,” Cllr Kelly said. “I’m calling on Minister Ross to provide the necessary resources needed to bring the driving test waiting times down to no more than four weeks. I think this is long enough to wait for a test.”
Last week it was claimed by Minister Ross that the Waterford waiting times are about six weeks.
“The problem is even if six weeks was correct, that’s still too long to wait for a test which has now become critical to learner drivers particularly since the recent introduction of laws that allow the Gardai seize cars from learner drivers who drive unaccompanied,” Cllr Kelly added. “According to Independent Senator Victor Boyhan, since last December there have been 350 cases of cars of unaccompanied learner drivers being seized in Ireland. I do not condone learner drivers driving unaccompanied, we cannot allow people to break the law. However, we must allow learner drivers to be able to do their test as quickly as possible.”
National figures confirmed recently by the RAS, show that 76,964 applicants are on the driver test list. Of these, 30,370 tests have been scheduled and a further 25,079 applicants are waiting for a test date. The remaining 21,514 applicants are unavailable for testing, for example, because an applicant has not completed the mandatory driver test lessons. Therefore, today 55,000 people are waiting for a driver test in Ireland.
“These figures are not acceptable either nationally or locally,” Cllr Kelly said. “I have contacted Minister Ross on this issue, and I await his reply.”