Thursday, 18 February 2021

Questions (85)

Duncan Smith


85. Deputy Duncan Smith asked the Minister for Transport his plans to reduce the backlog of those waiting to sit the driver theory test; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9263/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Driver Theory Test (DTT) has not been classified as an essential service by Government and consequently it has had to be suspended in light of Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions. All Driver Theory Tests will remain suspended for the duration of level 5 restrictions. The Driver Theory Test will not be conducted for essential workers while we remain in level 5.

While I fully appreciate the inconvenience this poses to learners, I am sure you will agree with me that the limiting of the spread of the virus and the safeguarding of public health must take first priority here.

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 Driver Theory Test service has recently launched a pilot phase of a new initiative, which offers a Remote Testing service for specific categories of Theory Test (C, D, CD, BMT, TMT, ADI, CPCB, CPCT). Following a review of the pilot phase, I understand the RSA expect the initiative to be extended for car and motorcycles.

The RSA are keen to progress and extend the service to all categories of Driver Theory Test, however scaling up operations to facilitate higher numbers will take time to achieve.