Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Ceisteanna (309, 310)

Tom Hayes


385 Mr. Hayes asked the Minister for Transport the procedures for persons with literacy difficulty to obtain a driving licence; and the plans he has to change these regulations. [3759/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Transport)

I assume the Deputy is referring to the requirement that applicants for first provisional licences must undergo and pass the driver theory test before being granted a licence.

The specification which the contractor operating the driver theory test is obliged to meet provides for the delivery of a user-friendly computerised theory testing system and requires that candidates with special needs be provided for. This includes the provision of reading assistance and voiceover audio with an extended time slot for the test. The test is based on a question bank, which has been developed, inter alia, in consultation with the Association for Children and Adults with Learning Difficulties and the National Adult Literacy Agency. The question bank is available in book format or as a CD rom which includes voiceover audio.

Pat Carey


386 Mr. Carey asked the Minister for Transport if his attention has been drawn to the suggestion that his Department's driver test centre at Finglas, Dublin 11, has a higher failure rate than any other in the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3760/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

As in other EU countries, there are variations in the pass rate among driving test centres. The pass rate may be influenced by a number of factors, including the number of lessons taken by the candidate, the standard of instruction available and demographic factors. Pass rates in the Finglas test centre are broadly in line with pass rates in the other Dublin test centres. The failure rate in the Finglas test centre has not been the highest nationally in any of the past five years.