Patience from Laois learner drivers pleaded for

Leinster Express Reporter

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Offaly is home to nearly 9,000 learner drivers

Laois has 1,500 learner drivers waiting for tests

Motorists in Laois are being asked to remain patient as the gradual reopening of some road safety services provided by the Road Safety Authority and the driving instruction industry, according to Laois Kildare Senator Fiona O’Loughlin.

More than 1,500 people are waiting to sit a test in Laois as Covid-19 restrictions froze the system.

She said the government has decided that initial Basic Training (IBT), the programme of mandatory lessons that all learner motorcyclists must complete with an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) before sitting a driving test, can resume from 10 May. The RSA will continue to deliver motorcycle testing. 

She added that Essential Driver Training (EDT) sessions will recommence for those essential workers who have not completed EDT from 10 May. (up to now, under level 5 restrictions no EDT sessions were allowed). Sen O'Loughlin said the RSA will also reopen its EDT Online Portal, on 10 May, to allow Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) to upload EDT sessions completed by essential workers.  

The Fianna Fáil representative said driving tests for essential workers will continue to be the priority for the driver testing service. In line with the gradual reopening of services, the represenative said driving tests for all those who are eligible to take the test and have been waiting longest will recommence in a limited fashion.

The former TD said further opening of the driver testing service will be the subject of discussions between my Department officials and the RSA in the coming week. It is expected that the earliest invitations will start to be issued to these customers will be later in May.   

She said theational Driver Licence Service (NDLS) centres will continue to remain open for essential workers only until 17 May, when they will re-open for all customers.  Sen O'Loughlin also said that NDLS customers who have a Public Services Card or MyGovID can apply online at ndls.ie.  

She hopes people can be patient.

“The government understand that people have been waiting for these services but would ask for their patience as plans are put in place to gradually re-open services over the coming week.

“Information will be posted on the RSA website as these plans are finalised.   Unfortunately, the RSA does not have further information at this time, and we would ask customers not to call the RSA. Further details will be announced as they are finalised in the run-up to services recommencing,” she concluded.