Driving lessons can resume across Donegal from Monday but regular car driving tests will have to wait a little longer to happen.
Outgoing Transport Minister Shane Ross confirmed tests will return on a gradual basis for trucks, buses and motorcycles initially.
Those whose test was cancelled when the service was suspended will be offered a test first – while front-line health workers will also be given priority.
On Monday, a total of 14 driving centres will reopen and provide tests for trucks, buses and motorcycles except for trucks in C1 and buses in D1 categories.
Over the coming weeks, the remaining 38 driving centres across the country will reopen with the number of tests and categories of vehicles also increasing.
Minister Ross said: “Following the publication of a revised Phase 3 road map for reopening Ireland, it is now possible to restart the testing of car drivers earlier than anticipated.
“This will be welcome news for the many learner drivers who have been waiting to sit a car test since the service was suspended on 13 March.
“While a specific date has not yet been finalised for the restart of car tests, this is a high priority for my officials and the RSA who have assured me that they are working towards getting car tests up and running, as soon as possible in Phase 3.”
Driving lessons were suspended on March 13 by the Road Safety Authority as Ireland battled to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Minister Ross also announced that learner permits which were due to expire between July 1 and October 31 would be extended by four months – to give learners an opportunity to sit the test without having to renew.
He continued: “On the 20 April I introduced a measure which allowed the validity of any learner permit, which was due to expire from 1 March to 30 June inclusive, to be extended for four months.
“The effect of that extension meant that their expiry now falls during the months from July to October. To provide an opportunity for at least some of those to take a test without having to renew their learner permit I have decided to apply the four-month extension to all learner permits now due to expire from 1 July to 31 October.
“This also means that any learner permit which hadn’t benefitted from the original extension, but whose expiry now falls in the normal way during the period 1 July to 31 October 2020, will also have an extension period of four months applied to it.
“As an example, a learner permit which expired on 5 March was extended by four months to 5 July 2020 and this will now be further extended to 5 November 2020.”
Minister Ross also confirmed driving lessons would be allowed to resume in Phase Three of Ireland’s lockdown exit plan.Tags: