The Road Safety Authority (RSA ) has announced that the new Essential Driver Training (EDT ) programme, which requires learner drivers to take compulsory driving lessons for category B vehicles (cars and light vans ), has been introduced since Monday April 4.
EDT is one of a range of measures announced by the RSA last September as part of a new Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL ) system which will enhance the way drivers are trained, tested, and licensed in Ireland.
Any person getting their first learner permit with a start date on or after April 4 must complete a minimum 12 hours of Essential Driver Training, with an RSA registered Approved Driving Instructor (ADI ) before they can sit their driving test. Typically the 12 EDT lessons will be spread over six months and be supported by practice and tuition as required.
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar, welcomed the introduction of EDT saying “The introduction of Essential Driver Training (EDT ) on Monday April 4 is probably the most significant development to the way we train our learner drivers since the introduction of the driving test in 1964. One of the key measures in the Government’s Road Safety Strategy 2007 to 2012, to tackle death and injury on our roads, is the introduction of a Graduated Driving Licensing system and EDT forms a core part of this life-saving initiative. The EDT programme is designed to protect inexperienced learner drivers while they are learning to drive and to support them as they develop the skills, confidence, and appropriate behaviour to share the road safely with others.”
Noel Brett, CEO of the Road Safety Authority (RSA ) said, “The programme consists of 12 one-hour lessons that are linked to 12 specific high risk road safety issues and will start the learner driver off on the road to becoming a better, safer driver. The 12 lessons on their own will not be sufficient to become a safe driver. Applying the feedback of your instructor, getting lots of practice, studying the recommended reading are all vital. Learners may also wish to discuss the need for additional driving lessons with their ADI – however this is something that should be agreed by both parties.”
Cathy Bacon, chairperson of the Irish Driving Instructors Association (IDIA ) - welcomed the introduction of EDT, as it welcomes all programmes intended to reduce death and injury on our roads. “The programme will need to be tried and tested and the IDIA are pleased that there is a commitment by the RSA to a review of it in 18 months time.”