Latest Laois News: Laois young people suffer due to driving test backlog claims local TD

Latest Laois News: Laois young people suffer due to driving test backlog claims local TD

Laois/Offaly Young People Suffer as 8503 On Waiting List For Driver’s or Theory Tests – Stanley

1100 people are now waiting for a Driving Test in Laois 

3993 people are on the Theory Test list in Laois

Local Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley has criticised Minister Eamon Ryan for the chaos his lack of action and difficulties he has caused for those trying to learn to drive.

His comments come as figures released to Sinn Féin show 1100 people are now waiting for a Driving Test in Laois while a staggering figure of 3993 people are on the Theory Test list in the County. The number awaiting Driving Tests in Offaly is 1889 with Birr having 762 while 1127 are waiting in Tullamore. The Theory Test number in Tullamore is 1521.

Deputy Stanley said;

“Last year we warned Minister Ryan his lack of preparation and planning for driving tests was going to cause chaos during 2021.

Unfortunately, this has now transpired, with what must be a record of 225,000 people nationally ocurrently waiting on a driving test or theory test.

In Laois/Offaly a total of 2989 people are waiting for a driving test, while a further 5514 are waiting for a theory test.

“This time last year, Sinn Féin called for additional testers to be hired to help address the growing backlog, but it took months for the Minister to grant approval for the 80 extra testers the RSA themselves requested. I raised this again in the Dáil recently. They are still not in place. In November we asked the Minister to put the theory test online, but it took until June of this year to bring in a restricted pilot scheme.’’

Universities were able to immediately switch to online exams during the pandemic, but no action was taken by Minister Ryan on this front.

Laois young people suffer due to driving test backlog claims local TD Brian Stanley

It’s simply not good enough. These issues were foreseeable, but a lack of action and initiative from the Minister has allowed waiting lists escalate to a point never seen before.’’

“The Minister seems to have been asleep at the wheel for most of the past year. He showed no interest in what was clearly becoming an enormous problem. It is predominantly young people affected by these delays, which is having a massive impact on their lives. The delays are impacting their employment opportunities and will become a major problem for many as they return to college in September.

photo of empty road with tall trees on either side
Roads empty of new and learner drivers as driving test backlog worsens

Young people deserve better.’’

“We need to increase testing and theory testing capacity immediately. This should include the fast-track recruitment of staff, longer opening hours, and the establishment of pop-up centres where necessary.”