31,000 postponed driving tests need to be first-in-line when restrictions ease

Reporter

Reporter:

Reporter

REVEALED: One in seven driving tests booked in Offaly do not take place

31,000 postponed driving tests need to be first-in-line when restrictions ease

Sinn Féin Mayo TD Rose Conway-Walsh labelled it ‘unfair’ that people who had their theory driving test cancelled due to lockdown are now being pushed to the back of the queue.

Deputy Conway-Walsh said: “The rescheduling is being done in an unfair way. People cannot understand why applicants who had their tests cancelled are being given new dates for February or later instead of when restrictions are lifted.

“Over 31,000 tests were booked for the period of level 5 restrictions that had to be rescheduled. 

“People are justifiably angry. They have made sacrifices and adhered to public health advice only to find themselves punished because their test fell during lockdown. All scheduled tests should have been paused and restarted in the same order when lockdown ends. This is the simplest and most equitable way to manage it.

“As things currently stand, we will exit lockdown in a weeks’ time. That means there is still time for the Minister to intervene and ensure a more reasonable approach is implemented. I appreciate that the test centres are under a lot of pressure. But people need to feel like they are being treated equally. The government needs to show a bit of common sense here and fix this”.

“This is happening at a time when over 90,000 learner drivers are waiting for a test across the State".

Deputy Conway-Walsh said that Sinn Féin have called additional driving instructors and testers.  She also noted that longer opening hours and weekend tests would go some way to address the lengthening backlog.