Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1569)

John Lahart


1569. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the actions he has taken to address the failure rate in driver test centres of circa 50%; and when the matter was last discussed with the Road Safety Authority, RSA. [35156/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Road Safety Authority's Driver Testing Service sets out the minimum level of knowledge, skill and competency that an applicant must demonstrate if he or she is to become a fully licensed driver. An effective Driving Test provides learner drivers with a consistent evaluation process which ensures that candidates have attained a sufficient level of competency to drive unaccompanied.

Pass and failure rates are determined by two factors: the standards set out in the assessment itself and the level of skill and experience acquired by candidates in preparation for that assessment. The individual assessable components examined on the driving test are set out in a series of EU directives on driver testing and licensing, the current informing directive being EU Directive 2006/126/EC which sets minimum driving test standards, training and quality assurance for driver testers. Driving up overall pass rates by providing for a somehow 'easier' test, therefore, would be a breach of both EU law and indeed the very spirit of Irish road safety policy. An appropriately stringent test at a high standard is an essential component if we are to ensure safe and responsible behaviour on our roads.

Essential Driver Training (EDT) was introduced in 2011 with the express purpose of preparing candidates for the test in a more structured and focused way. The breakdown of pass and failure rates as captured in the Road Safety Authority's Annual Reports ( clearly indicates higher pass rates among learners who have taken the EDT lessons than those who have not.