Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Driving Tests.

112.

asked the Minister for Local Government the average delay in holding driving tests.

The average waiting period for applications received prior to mid-December, 1973, is approximately 12 weeks. The waiting period for applications received since then will be considerably less and it is expected that persons now making application will have their tests within about seven weeks.

Has the Minister, in his relatively short period in office, had an opportunity of examining this whole question of driving tests, and is he satisfied that they are worth a damn?

Deputy Haughey must be aware that I have had a considerable number of changes applied to the driving test. I am of the opinion that they are worth a damn and more than a damn. I think they are very useful, although I do believe that many people who are excellent drivers do fail their test through nervousness or other reasons. I am hoping there will be some way of getting around this problem, perhaps inside the coming year. There were a number of rather foolish stipulations which were laid down and I had those altered, one of them being that persons who failed on a simple point failed and did not know why they failed. They now have to be told why they failed, and unless they commit a major breach or two reasonably serious breaches of the regulations, they do not fail; they could commit a whole series of small breaches and it would not fail them in their test. Similarly on the question of giving hand signals, we must include it because the EEC conditions lay it down that it must be included. In the Irish test now they are carried out when the vehicle is stationery. Many people were put off by being given tests which would never be of use to them, while they were undergoing a nerve-racking experience.

Like Algebra at school?

Would the Minister also have a look at the provision whereby a person who fails can appeal to the District Court?

That is a separate question.

As I understand it at the moment, it is a bit of a farce, that there is no reality in regard to this provision.

It would be much better to take the test again.

Question No. 113 withdrawn.