Young people in Donegal are being unfairly punished due to long waiting times for driving tests, according to Letterkenny Councillor Adrian Glackin.
Learner drivers are facing high costs and inconveniences as they wait up to 20 weeks for driving tests Donegal, where there are just two permanent testers for the entire county.
Cllr Glackin has said that the new Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill adds extra urgency to drivers awaiting testers.
“The current levels of backlog are unacceptable,” Cllr Glackin said, as he raised a motion at the Letterkenny MD meeting to highlight the immediate need for more full-time testers in the district.
The Bill which passed in the Dail this week will make it an offence for car owners to allow a learner drive to use their car unaccompanied.
Cllr Glackin said: “I support this Bill wholeheartedly. But we are not only prosecuting young people who want to drive to work or college, we are new prosecuting the parents too.
“The extra wait for driving tests can cost a learner up to €600-800 as they have to continue with extra driving lessons after the first 12 lessons and they have to cover high insurance costs.
“It is not just the extra expense, it is the fear of being put off the road while waiting on tests. They are ringing waiting on cancellations everyday and obviously the temptation is there to get into the car and go where they need to go.”
“I think this is a case of punishing young people for being young,” Cllr Glackin said.
Cllr Gerry McMonagle added that the high costs of insurance for young drivers must be added to the council’s communications with Minister for Transport Shane Ross.
“The insurance companies are going to town with the costs. Some are up to €4,500 a year and this needs to be looked at.
“Young being are being victimised on the length of time they have to wait on tests,” Cllr McMonagle said.
Cllr Glackin agreed that the letter to the Minister for Transport Shane Ross would include a request for the regulation of insurance prices.Tags: