Learner drivers in some parts of Donegal are waiting up to 23 weeks to sit their tests.
The figures show that practical driving tests now stand at 23 weeks at test centres in Letterkenny and Buncrana, while drivers face a 17 week wait to take a test at Donegal Town.
As more young people are practicing out on the roads and facing delays for tests, their parents often become their secondary instructors. There may well be plenty scenes like this Irish mammy around Donegal roads recently:
This video of Tyrone mother Michelle McSweeney and her daughter Megan went viral after it captured the hilarious tension between children and parents in the early days of driving.
Deputy Pearse Doherty has branded the Donegal waiting list figures from the Road Safety Authority as ‘excessive’.
Deputy Doherty, who has sought details of the waiting times across all testing centres in the state, says that more needs to be done to reduce the wait for drivers.
He said “The RSA has cited factors such as staff shortages at centres, the government’s public service recruitment ban, as well an increase in applicant numbers for the rise in average waiting times at its centres.
“Clearly, waiting times here at the centres in Donegal are now excessive, and the long wait faced by applicants to sit their tests is inconveniencing learner drivers and anecdotal evidence suggests that it is also hampering their employment opportunities, with younger applicants particularly affected in this regard.
“Last week, I raised the issue of waiting times with the Minister for Transport and he has now asked the RSA to provide me with the average waiting times for a practical driving test at all test centres across the state.
“Clearly, the Government needs to now provide those centres where it has been identified that the authority’s 10 week waiting target is not being met with the additional staff they require in order to process test applications much more expeditiously than at present.”