Saturday 26 May 2018

Banned learners are holding on to licences and still driving

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Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

MORE than half the learner drivers disqualified for exceeding penalty points totals have not surrendered their licenses as required.

The revelation came as road safety group, PARC, warned that the Government need to crackdown on loopholes and procedural problems that are allowing motorists to keep driving without proper checks.

Safety campaigners hit out at the fact many motorists continue to drive on provisional licenses despite them having failed to undertake a repeat test.

It is feared that simply applying for a repeat test - but failing to sit it - has become a mechanism for some to keep driving.

Campaigners warned the system must be changed to ensure that learner drivers only get a renewed permit if they actually sit their test.

The comments came as it emerged it is now estimated that 65,000 drivers who are on learner permits are on their third license or more.

It was also confirmed that of the 544 learner drivers disqualified since August 1 2014 for having exceeded penalty points totals, 281 have failed to surrender their licenses as required to the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

The Government was warned to adopt a "get tough' approach to the enforcement of driving license rules and regulations, road tragedies will continue to occur.

Astonishingly, more than 19,000 learner drivers failed to show up for scheduled driving tests last year.

Safety groups said there is now "overwhelming evidence" that many learner drivers are simply using the driving test application process as a means of continued motoring.

Tommy Broughan TD has demanded urgent Government action on the learner driver impasse.

Irish Independent

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