Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (72, 73, 74)

John Bruton


134 Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Transport if he intends to abolish provisional driving licences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6619/04]

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Seán Ryan


161 Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Transport the measures he has taken in regard to his announcement of December 2002 of his intention to deal with the problem of the large number of provisional drivers on roads here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6796/04]

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Seymour Crawford


182 Mr. Crawford asked the Minister for Transport his proposals for a review of the provisional driver licence system; when he expects the review to be completed; when he expects to have specific proposals in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6722/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 134, 161 and 182 together.

Over the years various changes have been made to the regulatory conditions under which provisional licences have effect. As part of an integrated approach to improving the quality of driving standards in the interests of road safety, I am considering whether further changes to driver licensing regulations are desirable. In particular, I wish to bring in measures that will reduce long-term reliance on provisional licences, address the disproportionately high number of road accidents involving motorcyclists and ensure that learner drivers make adequate preparation for their driving tests.

I am also reviewing the provision whereby holders of second provisional licences for cars are not required to be accompanied by a person who holds a driving licence for that category of vehicle with a view to ending this arrangement. All other provisional licence holders other than drivers of motorcycles and work vehicles must be accompanied by a qualified driver at all times when driving in a public place.

I intend to submit detailed proposals for a package of driver licensing reforms to Government shortly.

I refer the Deputies to my reply to Question No. 126 on today's Order Paper.