Shane Ross in favour of drivers taking second test

Minister concerned motorists are not keeping up to date with changes in rules of the road

Minister for Transport Shane Ross says it is a real problem that many drivers don’t keep up with the rules of the road, “and obviously don’t understand them”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister for Transport Shane Ross says it is a real problem that many drivers don’t keep up with the rules of the road, “and obviously don’t understand them”. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Minister for Transport Shane Ross says he is in favour of requiring drivers to take a second test to make sure they keep abreast of changes in the rules of the road.

Currently, a driver only has to pass their test once and for those who do so in their late teens or early 20s can drive for 40 or 50 years without having their knowledge or skills tested again.

Mr Ross feels there is a “gap in that although the road safety rules change, the driver does not have to change. Motorways didn’t exist 30 years ago.” Motorway driving is not part of the driving test curriculum for Irish drivers.

The Minister said at the moment there was no obligation on drivers to ensure they were fully up to date with road safety rules.

Refresher test

“I think it is a real problem. Lots of people don’t keep up with the rules of the road and obviously don’t understand it. And there is no refresher test,” he told The Irish Times.

Asked if there should be a retest after 10 or 20 years of driving, Mr Ross said there was merit in testing a driver’s knowledge of rules of the road, and in particular the changes that had occurred since they passed their test, rather than retesting their driving skills.

“The funding and the administration of such a test would be a challenge but in road safety terms it is a gap and it should be addressed.

“It is so obvious. If people do not have to keep up with changes in the rules of the road they won’t and it is a danger if they don’t.”