Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Unqualified drivers revealed

Here's an issue I felt compelled to write about.

New figures from the Department of Transport have revealed the full extent of the fiasco surrounding driving tests in Ireland.

Reports yesterday morning said figures showed that one fifth of motorists were driving on provisional licences and one in every seven of these had spent at least eight years on the road WITHOUT PASSING a test.

The number waiting to sit their tests is also reportedly increasing rather than falling, with 12,000 people on the waiting list at one Dublin testing centre. Labour Party TD Róisín Shorthall said that the figures highlighted the urgent need for a major overhaul of testing procedures:

"There needs to be enough testers put in place in order to deal with the demand that's there."

Minister for Transport Martin Cullen has announced plans to privatise some driving tests, but this is vehemently opposed by existing testers. The Civil Service Arbitration Board has also ruled that any attempt by the Government to force through the privatisation will be a breach of social partnership unless it has the agreement of trade unions.

What can you say? This is ridiculous. It seems that the people who run this country are intent on turning this place into a laughing stock. Not only will next year's election be decided on the most flawed Electoral Register in the history of the State, but we also have a situation where people who have FAILED, yes FAILED, their driving tests are, well, driving!

I used this example in a previous post - Can you imagine a situation where a medical student fails his/her medical exam and is issued with a provisional doctor's license? Would you allow such a doctor to perform surgery on you? Would you place your life in their hands?

But yet in this country powerful machines are manned by people who are simply unqualified to use them. Ridiculous!

What a joke this place is fast becoming. The motto for driving tests in Ireland seems to be, 'If at first you don't succeed...who cares, here's your provisional license.'

Forget tyres, heads should role over this kind of nonsense.


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