The Road Safety Authority (RSA) today (June 6) announced the start of a public consultation process on the future of the driving test in Ireland. 2014 also marks the 50th Anniversary of the first driving test in Ireland. The RSA is asking road-users to use the anniversary as an opportunity to voice their opinion on how the driving to test should be conducted as we reflect on the progress that has been made in road safety in Ireland over the past 50 years, and look to the challenges of the next 50 years of driver testing.
This consultation will seek the views of the public on suggested reforms to the current driving test. The public, and any interested parties, can have their say on the future of the driving test by commenting on the reforms or by making formal submissions by post or email. More details are available on www.rsa.ie. The deadline for submissions is 18th July 2014.
Since March 1964, the driving test has been a rite of passage for many people, young and old, and is today an even more critical stage of driver education that helps to ensure we all share the road safely.
Today, the 140,000 driving tests carried out in Ireland annually form part of the Road Safety Authority’s broader driver education programme which emphasises responsible behaviour and empowerment of individuals to ensure they, and their friends and family, share the road safely. Since the RSA took charge of the test in 2006, there have been significant reforms. The new Graduated Driver Licensing system introduced mandatory driving lessons, and the driving instruction industry was regulated in 2009, where we now have 1800 Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs).
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said:
“The driving test has saved thousands of lives on our roads by teaching safer driving. Teaching and testing standards have come on a long way over the years and we’re now looking at new ways to make further improvements. The public consultation launched today will help members of the public, and interested parties to shape the future of the driving test. One of the proposals being considered is a hazard perception test in driver training and testing, where the driver is asked to identify potential hazards in photographs or videos. The ability to spot hazards is a vital skill and marks out a really competent driver, and its inclusion in training and testing would help to focus attention on this skill at an early stage.”
Ms. Moyagh Murdock, CEO, Road Safety Authority said:
“With every new development with driver training and testing, our roads are becoming a safer place. Driver education is absolutely key to safety on the roads. We are delighted to mark the 50th Anniversary of the test this year, and look forward to the next 50 years when driver education and training will make the roads an even safer space for us all to share.”
This year, the Road Safety Authority will welcome the 46th CIECA General Assembly and Congress to Dublin Castle on the 5th and 6th June. CIECA is the international commission for driver testing authorities. CIECA works to improve driving standards, to contribute to road traffic education, and to improve road safety. This year’s congress will focus on ‘hazard perception’ in the context of road safety, driver training and testing.