Motorists to face prosecution for allowing lone learner use car

Gardaí to have powers to seize a vehicle if driven by unaccompanied learner driver

Car owners who give their vehicle to an unaccompanied learner driver are to be prosecuted under new laws.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross is to seek approval from Cabinet on Tuesday to amend current legislation to allow for such measures to be enforced.

Gardaí will also be given the power to seize a vehicle if it is discovered that it is being driven by a learner driver.

The Minister has taken the action in the back of a request by a father of three who lost his wife and daughter in a car crash.


Noel Clancy, from Leitrim in Kilworth, Co Cork, made representations to the Minister after the deaths on December 22nd, 2015.

Susan Gleeson (21) was given a three-year suspended sentence for dangerous driving causing the deaths of his wife, Geraldine (58) and daughter Louise (22).

The Clancy’s car ended up being flipped on its roof and pushed through a gap in a stone wall. It fell into a flooded ditch where the two women drowned despite the efforts of locals - including Mr Clancy, who came on the scene - to rescue them.

Gleeson pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death and although Mr Clancy said in a victim impact statement that he could not find it in his heart to forgive Gleeson, he said afterwards that he was glad the court recognised that his wife was blameless when it came to the crash.

Gleeson was an unaccompanied learner driver at the time of the fatal crash. It is illegal for learner drivers to drive a vehicle unaccompanied by someone with a driving licence of at least two years’ standing.