Revealed: The places around the country with the longest wait times for driving tests
DRIVERS around the country are facing waits of up to 25 weeks for an appointment to take their driving tests.
The Road Safety Authority aims to have a national average waiting time of no longer than 10 weeks, but the latest figure from the authority show that in some places the average wait time is as high as 19.3 weeks.
Buncrana in Donegal is a test centre with the longest average wait time. Gorey in Wexford has an average of an 18.4 week waiting time. However drivers at both centres faced a 22 week wait in recent weeks.
Tralee in Co Kerry - which has an average wait of four months - saw the highest wait time recorded in the country. One driver was forced to wait 25 weeks to sit their driving test.
Local councillor Johnny Healy Rae recently raised the issue at a local council meeting and speaking to Radio Kerry afterwards he said people in Kerry who did not drive were at risk of starvation.
"If you don't drive in Co Kerry you are in danger of three things. You are in danger of starvation, you are in danger of dying of the thirst and you most certainly won't have any company of any description," he said.
New rules are incoming which would see learner drivers who drive unaccompanied face penalty points and the car being driven to be seized by gardaí.
The legislation has been delayed drawing criticism from road safety campaigners.
Transport Minister Shane Ross has also drawn ire from TDs who say he is out of touch with rural living and long waiting times for driving tests nationally are often cited by people who say the new laws will put rural residents at a disadvantage.
The data displayed shows the current average waiting time for a Category B (car/light van) driving test, per test centre, based on the waiting times of applicants who had a test appointment during the last 4 weeks (updated 27/03/218)