Paul Melia: Training for new drivers - what on earth took so long?
WE shouldn't be patting ourselves on the back about the introduction of a formal training programme for learner drivers. It should have happened years ago.
The fact that one in every eight drivers on Irish roads is not qualified should have focused minds a little earlier, particularly when statistics show that drivers aged 17-24 years, who tend to be the ones holding learner permits, are among the most dangerous behind the wheel.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) says motorists are inexperienced until they have driven 100,000km in all weather and traffic conditions. That's an average of seven years on the road before being considered competent.