The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is eliminating the jobs of 25 temporary driving testers as it prepares for a campaign to recruit 30 permanent testers.
The temporary posts with the State body responsible for driver testing and licensing will come to an end by early next month after a decision not to renew the contracts.
Some critics say privately that testing could be delayed while the permanent posts are recruited for, as the process can take up to 10 weeks. Road deaths are up sharply this year, prompting repeated warnings from the authority and other bodies for motorists to exercise caution when driving.
According to data provided by the RSA, the national average waiting time for a test stands at between 10 and 11 weeks.
“Temporary fixed-term contracted driving testers whose contracts are due to cease in late August and early September will leave the organisation in line with their contract end dates,” the RSA said in reply to questions about the move.
Asked what the basis was for not renewing contracts, the RSA said it “will be recruiting 30 permanent driver testers in coming weeks through a national recruitment campaign”. There are 97 permanent testers at present and 69 temporary testers, it said.
Asked how many vacancies there were for permanent and temporary testers, the RSA cited the 30 posts that will be filed on completion of the recruitment campaign.
Garda figures show that 99 people have lost their lives on the roads since the start of this year – 24 more than in the same period last year.