Almost a third of households in Ireland have been directly affected by wait times to sit the driving test, a recent survey has found.
Covid-19 has caused a large backlog of learners waiting for a driving test, as only essential workers are offered tests during Level Five.
An estimated 62,000 learner drivers are awaiting a test in Ireland.
An AA Ireland survey found that instances of learner permit holders driving without an accompanying fully qualified driver may be on the rise.
12.38% of those surveyed strongly agreed that they knew of at least one learner driver regularly driving without an accompanying driver. A further 9.59% of respondents partially agreed with this statement.
“We’ve already had an issue in recent years with a small minority of learner permit holders thinking they had reason to drive without an accompanying driver because of difficulties getting a test or a requirement to get to work. This is not the case plain and simple, until you pass the test you must have a fully qualified driver with you and COVID does not change that,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated.
From a survey of over 4,000 Irish motorists, 22.82% of respondents strongly agreed that one or more members of their household have been or will be negatively affected by the current wait times to sit the driving test. Meanwhile, a further 6.11% of those surveyed stated that they partially agreed with this claim.
For as long as we remain in level 5 of Covid-19 restrictions, the Government have quite rightly taken the decision to restrict driving tests to those working in essential services. However, the longer this goes on, the longer the waiting list for a test date becomes for those who currently can’t apply to sit their test. When restrictions ease and we are in a position for regular testing to resume, it’s important that the RSA receive the required support from Government to take the steps necessary to minimise the delay,” Faughnan stated.