The Road Safety Authority is urging multiple learner permit holders, eligible to sit a driving test, to apply for one without delay.
There are 41,316 people on their fourth or subsequent learner permit for a car or B category licence, and of these people, 8,663 are on their 10th or successive learner permit.
Legislation introduced in December 2018 means unaccompanied learner drivers and the owners of the car they drive face stiffer penalties. A vehicle being driven by an unaccompanied learner driver can now be detained by gardaí and charges will apply to recover the vehicle.
The average waiting time for a driving test nationally is now just over six weeks. Since the start of 2018, 83 new driver testers have been recruited across the driving test service. In addition, four new driving test centres opened in 2018; those looking to sit their test can now access 53 test centres nationwide.
The RSA is also warning that the reduction in waiting times has meant some learner drivers are being caught off guard by how quickly they are being called for a test, and have not put in the necessary preparation.
They strongly recommend learner drivers are ready to do the driving test when they apply. They should spend time getting any additional lessons with an experienced driving instructor and practice sessions with a sponsor.
In conjunction with the new legislation being introduced last December, the RSA launched a one-stop information portal for applicants – www.passthetest.ie – where information on how to access the driving test service and prepare for the test is available.