Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (78, 80, 81)

Neale Richmond

Question:

78. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Transport the system in place to deal with the backlog of driver theory test appointments due to the Covid-19 pandemic; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8001/21]

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Neale Richmond

Question:

80. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Transport the plans in place to allow essential workers to take the driver theory test during the current round of Covid-19 restrictions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8003/21]

View answer

Neale Richmond

Question:

81. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Transport when the driver theory tests will resume for non-essential workers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8004/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 78, 80 and 81 together.

The Driver Theory Test (DTT) has not been classified as an essential service by Government and consequently it has been suspended in light of Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions. Driver Theory Tests for all candidates will remain suspended for the duration of level 5 restrictions.

It was decided, in a climate where only limited services are being provided in order to reduce the spread of Covid and where continuing services must be both safe and essential, that even if the theory test could be conducted safely it was not essential to the point of being needed during this period of restrictions.

The Road Safety Authority has advised my office that it is engaging with its service provider to maximise capacity to offer tests while adhering to occupational and public health requirements for when services are resumed. In this regard, they would, for example, be opening on additional days at some centres and extended hours also provided to allow additional capacity for appointments.

The RSA are also examining the expansion of remote theory tests to include cars and motorcycles, however scaling up operations to facilitate higher numbers will take time to achieve.