The last act of the now former Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) on Saturday morning last was to confirm that the driver testing service will restart on a gradual basis during Phase 3 of the road map for easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
Providing an update on when learner drivers can expect to sit car tests the out-going Minister said: “Following the publication of a revised Phase 3 road map for reopening Ireland, it is now possible to restart the testing of car drivers earlier than anticipated. This will be welcome news for the many learner drivers who have been waiting to sit a car test since the service was suspended on March 13. While a specific date has not yet been finalised for the restart of car tests, this is a high priority for my officials and the RSA who have assured me that they are working towards getting car tests up and running, as soon as possible in Phase 3.”
Things will be different however, when the driving test resumes. It will be gradual, and measures will be put in place to protect staff and customers. This will mean that for all categories being tested, at least for the initial resumption period, everyone will have to get used to the new protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19. I am asking candidates to please be patient as the service resumes.
The minister added: “Given the nature of the driving test, which in many cases involves a tester and candidate sitting near each other for periods well in excess of 15 minutes, the reopening of the service must be done in accordance with Government Protocols and public health safety measures. These measures, the details of which will be supplied to all candidates attending a driving test, will have to be observed at all test centres when the service resumes. On this point I want to thank employees and worker representative groups inside the RSA as well as Union representatives who have engaged in a very constructive manner to approve these protocols which will protect customers and staff.”
As the permits of some learner drivers will expire before they have had an opportunity to sit the practical driving test. Minister Ross also further extend the period of validity of learner permits, before leaving office.