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Minister Varadkar announces breakthrough on Irish driving licences with Ontario (July 2014)

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has today signed an agreement to allow for mutual exchange of driving licences between Ireland and Ontario. Click here to see the details.


The Following is a communication A.D.I.'s received for distribution to all our clients from the Road Safety Authority:

" Dear ADI

As you may already be aware, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport announced changes to the driver licensing system that apply to newly qualified novice drivers and first time learner permit holders.

These changes are important road safety measures that form part of the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system, one of the key actions in the current and previous Government Road Safety Strategies aimed at improving how we train, test, licence and protect learner and novice drivers.

The changes are as follows:

•          From 1 August, N plates are a legal requirement for any driver who gets their first full driving licence in any category on or after that date.

•         Any driver who receives their first-ever learner permit on or after 1st  August will be subject to a lower penalty point threshold, a total of seven penalty points rather than 12. This does not apply to anyone currently in the system, eg. people who already have a  learner permit or full driving licence before 1st  August.

•         Non-display of N plates is an offence under traffic law and is punishable by a fine not exceeding €1,000 for a first offence. On becoming a fixed change the failure to display an N-plate will carry 2 penalty points on payment of a fixed charge or 4 on conviction.

The purpose of the GDL system is to reduce the number of collisions, deaths and injuries among learner and novice drivers, particularly among the high risk 17 to 24-year-olds, during the learning to drive period and period immediately after they pass their test.

Research tells us that novice drivers are most likely to be killed on our roads in the first two years after passing their test due to their inexperience. Therefore, these measures are designed to protect our most vulnerable road-users so that they can become safe, competent and socially responsible drivers, helping to ensure we have fewer collisions, fatalities and injuries on our roads.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is having a public awareness campaign to make other relevant stakeholders aware of these new requirements. We would be grateful if you could share this information with your colleagues and Learners. For further information on driver licensing and learner drivers please visit www.ndls.ie

With thanks and appreciation for your continued support of road safety.

Driver Education Section – Road Safety Authority "

All Novice Drivers will be able to drive on their own. This has been clarified by the Department of Transport.

The Road Safety Authority will be supplying people who pass the driving test with N-Plates for six months as and from the 1st August.

Public Consultation paper on proposed Driving Test Enhancements launched (June 2014)

Have your say on proposed possible enhancements to the driving test in Ireland today. Click to Have Your Say on how the proposed enhancements may work.

Learner Drivers - are you really insured? (Mar. 2014)

Are you are a Learner Permit holder who has paid for your driving insurance and are you driving around unaccompanied. Check with your insurance company to see if they will cover you in the event you have an accident.

Some Learner Permit holders get driving insurance but the insurance companies may NOT cover you to drive on you own. Thus if you have an accident you are on your own, uninsured. Be careful, check this out!!!

Driving on Freshly Wetted Roads (Mar. 2014)

When one drives on a road which rain has just fallen on after a prolonged dry spell it is very slippery for a while. This is because during the dry spell a film of both rubber (from tyres) and oil builds up on the road. It takes a while for the rain to wash this off the roads. So be careful driving in such conditions.

Driving Through Roundabouts in Ireland (Feb. 2014)

Click to see a video on how to drive through roundabouts in Ireland. This has been produced by the Road Safety Authority and the Irish Insurance Federation.

Interesting article on EDT in the Irish Examiner on Wednesday 27,(Jan. 2014)

IrishExaminer.com - Wednesday, January 29, 2014 FRONT | IRELAND | SPORT | WORLD | BUSINESS | Deaths/In Memory Fewer ‘no shows’ for driving tests By Noel Baker - Friday, December 27, 2013

The number of driving test "no shows" has been slashed under the new Essential Driver Training regime, while the pass rate has also improved, figures show. Statistics provided to the Irish Examiner by the Road Safety Authority show that the mandatory training programme — which incorporates 12 lessons before sitting the test — has meant that the no-show rate has plummeted.

Fewer than 2% of driving test candidates who have undergone the EDT since it was introduced in Apr 2011 failed to turn up for the test, compared with 17% of non-EDT candidates who failed to turn up for their tests in the same period. It means 1,074 EDT candidates failed to turn up for their test, compared with 53,399 no-shows among non-EDT candidates. In 2013 pass rates for EDT candidates stand at 54%, compared with 46% for candidates who have not undergone the EDT. It follows a trend set in 2012 when EDT candidates had a similar pass rate. According to the RSA, the figures are "clear evidence" that EDT candidates feel better prepared for the test process.

John Caulfield, interim chief executive of the RSA, said: "Anyone who received their first learner permit on or after Apr 4, 2011, is required to complete a minimum 12 hours of Essential Driver Training with an RSA registered approved driving instructor. "Those who do not have to undertake compulsory lessons are those who held a learner permit before the system was introduced. However, the RSA strongly recommends that these learners also complete the programme as the benefits are clear to see." RSA spokesman Brian Farrell said the figures were indicative of candidates not wishing to waste the time and money spent on preparing for the test, adding: "They are taking the system a lot more seriously." The RSA regulates the driving test area but does not set prices for the cost of lessons.

The EDT structure is part of the graduated licensing system which also covers the lower drink/driving levels that apply to learner drivers and the plans to introduce a lower threshold of penalty points for the same cohort, meaning a learner driver scoring seven points would be off the road, as opposed to a fully qualified driver who would need to register 12 points before a ban kicked in. As of the end of last September, there were 209,348 category B learner permit holders.

According to the figures there have been a total number of 376,729 tests since the start of 2011 to Dec 17 last, while this year to Dec 17, 39,345 tests of EDT candidates were carried out and 78,827 tests of non-EDT candidates. The no shows were at 825 and 17,663, respectively. Almost 2,000 tests were abandoned in the same period in 2013.

Concerning Irish citizens abroad who wish to apply for Driving Licenses(Jan. 2014)

See the latest Road Safety Authority information on Irish citizens abroad who wish to apply for Driving Licenses.

National Driving License Service, N.D.L.S., in Cork. (Jan. 2014)

Learner Permits and Driving Licenses can now be got from the National Driving License Service, N.D.L.S. in Cork City. Previously one could pick them up at their local Motor Taxation Office. The office is located at Commercial Unit 1, Copley Hall, Cotters Street, Off Copley Street, Cork, (see map below).

Driving School Car

Insurance Disc Driving Test Alert (Dec. 2013)

In November 2013, in the Wilton, Cork R.S.A. Driving Test centre there seems to have been a sharp rise in the number of people being prevented from doing a driving test. This is because some people show up for there driving test missing completely or in part the green strip on their insurance disc. I kid you not!!!

The law states that you must have this green strip showing on your insurance disc. I have been assured there is an anti-fraud reason for this, even allowing for colour photocopying. I do think though that preventing someone from doing their driving test because of this reason is not acceptable. It is unacceptable because there is only one mention of this insurance disc potential banana skin in any R.S.A. driving test literature. It is not mentioned in the Driving Instructor Handbook, not mentioned in the Rules of the Rule Book and not mentioned in the R.S.A. guideline booklet for Conducting Driving-Tests. The latter two were reprinted published in 2013!!!

Where it is mentioned is at the end of a little sentence in the R.S.A. little leaflet entitled 'Final Checks for your Driving Test'. Even there though it is only in brackets at the end of this sentence. At the moment there is nothing given by the R.S.A. to anyone showing up for their test with such an insurance disc. Hopefully, the R.S.A. will come to their senses soon and stop taking the candy (€85) from the baby (Learner Driver). Should they offer another test date to driving test applicants instead, then that would make a lot more sense and would be more acceptable in the circumstances. The least that could be done is to warn people of this issue in a more meaningful way.
By Caoimhghin Whyte