Thursday, 4 November 2004

Questions (158, 159, 160)

Willie Penrose

Question:

155 Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Transport the validity of a registered driving instructor status, within the driver testing and standards authority, of a person (details attached) in County Westmeath; the position in relation to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27715/04]

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Pádraic McCormack

Question:

157 Mr. McCormack asked the Minister for Transport the status of the driver instructor register; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27720/04]

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Róisín Shortall

Question:

158 Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Transport if his attention has been drawn to concerns of driving instructors who are registered with the driving instructor register of Ireland that their qualifications may not be recognised by the proposed driver testing and standards authority; the position regarding the validity of the RDI status; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27732/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 155, 157 and 158 together.

I refer the Deputies to my reply to Question No. 154 of Thursday, 14 October 2004. Proposals being developed by my Department for the regulation and quality assurance of driving instruction will involve a test of the competence of individual instructors. A working group comprising representatives of my Department and of instruction interests has formulated the design of the standards a driving instructor must meet. I am considering what arrangements will be put in place to oversee implementation of the standard in the context of the establishment of the driver testing and standards authority. The Driver Testing and Standards Authority Bill 2004, which provides for the establishment of the authority, was published on 6 July 2004 and the Second Stage debate commenced on the 14 October 2004. Regulations will be required to give effect to the proposals for introducing regulation of driving instruction and the position of existing driving instructors will be considered in the context of the drafting of the regulations.