Saturday 18 November 2017

New measures will include lower drink-driving limit and a hazard test

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

THE current system of driver training obliges motorists to pass a theory test before they can get a learner permit.

They must complete 12 one-hour lessons with a qualified instructor before applying to sit a test, and must have a sponsor -- a driver who has held a full licence for at least two years -- to supervise their practice lessons.

Learners must also keep a logbook setting out their progress, which is filled in by their instructor and sponsor.

From September, learner drivers will be subject to a lower drink-driving limit of just 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. This compares with a 50mg limit for fully qualified drivers.

New breath-testing machines will be rolled out to gardai from September when the law is introduced.

The Government is expected to approve changes to the penalty points system in the coming weeks, where learners who accrue six points will be put off the road for six months. This compares with 12 points for qualified drivers.

Other changes coming include an updated driver theory test, and the introduction of a hazard perception test from next year. This involves learners watching video footage and identifying risks.

Irish Independent

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