A recent study has shown that over 125,000 learner permit holders have never taken the driving test – some who have been learner drivers since 1984.
New measures may be introduced to stop a loophole that allows learner drivers to avoid taking the driving test. Some of the proposals being discussed include, increasing the cost of a renewing a provisional licence forcing drivers to book lessons before renewing a provisional licence reducing the validity period of a renewed provisional licence from one year to 6 months.
RSA communications manager Brian Farrell says that efforts are being made to stop provisional licence holders from exploiting the loophole.
Mr Farrell said: “Learner drivers who adhere to existing regulations are not breaking the law and are not a safety risk on our roads. We are concerned, however, by a number of people who are not sticking to these laws. Some people are booking a test, not turning up and reapplying for a learner permit. We have put recommendations to the Department of Transport in relation to addressing this issue.”
Mr Farrell adds that the risk of prosecution for driving without a fully qualified driver is encouraging provisional licence holders to attempt a driving test.
He said: “Since the implementation of the Clancy Amendment, we have seen a 30% increase in applications for driving tests.”