Minister of State and Kildare South Fine Gael TD Martin Heydon has welcomed confirmation he has received from the RSA that they are to temporarily increase the number of driver testers to expand the current location in Naas, County Kildare.
This follows representations by Minister Heydon to the RSA to highlight the long waiting lists in Kildare and the need for additional resources in this area to help to clear the backlog.
“Following queries from constituents I have been concerned about the large backlog of Kildare residents awaiting driving tests. The Road Safety Authority (RSA) currently has testers working in test centres across the Country, with new contract testers to come on stream in June to help address the growing waiting list.
The five test centres with the longest waiting lists are:
- Dublin (Tallaght) – 10,449
- Dublin (Finglas) – 7,427
- Cork (Wilton) – 5,845
- Dublin (Dun Laoghaire/Deansgrange) – 5,603
- Kildare (Naas) – 4,945
Minister Heydon said “County Kildare is one of the counties possibly facing the longest wait time for their test and this needs to be addressed. At a national level a person applying today would be likely to wait on average of 25 weeks for a driving test.
“Recruitment of an additional 40 driver testers has been authorized by the Department of Transport to help to deal with the waiting lists, along with 36 approved for retention or rehire in 2020. The RSA is making good progress in recruiting these additional testers and they are expected to be conducting tests by the end of June 2021. I am glad the RSA have taken my concerns on board and will be allocating some of their new contract testers to the centre in Naas.
“Young people in particular need to be able to take their driving test especially in rural areas and hopefully this ongoing recruitment of testers who are currently being trained to be deployed in June will alleviate the traffic jam of applicants waiting to take their driver test.”
Minister Heydon continued “I am also aware of growing concern at the delays in taking theory tests. Many people are experiencing numerous cancellations as the service has not yet resumed following Covid restrictions. The Government are currently working on the possibility of holding theory tests online to help clear the growing backlog of those waiting to take theory tests. A pilot online driver theory test is underway for trucks and buses. This will be extended to car drivers very shortly, initially with up to 3,200 online tests being conducted per month. Online services will be made more widely available towards the end of 2021.
This would be welcome and assist many younger drivers who want to start the process of learning to drive by taking a theory test.