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03rd Apr 2024

Learner drivers to be banned from Irish roads if they keep failing tests



The issue of ‘unlimited renewals’ is a priority for the government

Learner drivers in Ireland who keep failing their driving tests will be banned from Irish roads in a safety crackdown from the government.

Transport Minister Jack Chambers confirmed the issue of ‘unlimited renewals’ is currently being worked on with the Road Safety Authority and will be rolled out once the backlog in driver test waiting lists is resolved.

The waiting times for tests will be cut to 10 weeks by the middle of this year, according to the Department of Transport, down from their peak of over 30 weeks last August.

Mr Chambers said: “The issue of multiple successive learner permits is a road safety priority for me.

“My Department is committed to changing the permit renewal system to prevent unlimited renewals, increasing driver testing capacity for timely access to practical tests, reviewing driver training and the training curriculum to better prepare candidates for the driving tests.

“Preparatory work has begun. My officials have agreed an approach with the Road Safety Authority to address learner permit renewal while the RSA is increasing testing capacity. I understand that driver training is under review.”

There have been cases of some drivers failing their test up to 10 times before passing, which is something the government are looking to clamp down on.

Minister Chambers added that there will be a “lead in time” for learners to make arrangements to comply with the new requirements.

The announcement was in response to written parliamentary questions from Sinn Fein transport spokesman, Martin Kenny TD, around the issue of the rising number of deaths on the roads.

So far in 2024, a total of 58 people have been killed on Irish roads, a 38% rise compared to last year.

Over the Easter bank holiday weekend, Gardaí conducted more than 5,000 roadside drug and alcohol tests on Irish roads, leading to 177 arrests for driving under the influence of an intoxicant.

Over 2,630 drivers were also detected for speeding offences over the weekend.