Changes may be happening

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has revealed that he would prefer a driving test system whereby people would resit their driver theory test after a period of time in order to maintain their knowledge of the rules of the road.He is in favour of drivers taking a second driving theory test to ensure that they’re updated with all the rule changes on the roads.

What happens currently?

Under the current system, a driver can sit a driving test provided they have passed the driver theory test and are at least 17-years-old.

At the moment drivers only have to sit the test once provided they renew their licence before it expires.

Driving Environment has changed

The road infrastructure has changed beyond all recognition over the last two decades, motorways, large population explosion growth and larger volumes of traffic and more complex traffic managed junctions.

“I think it is a real problem. Lots of people don’t keep up with the rules of the road and obviously don’t understand it. And there is no refresher test,” Ross said in an interview with the Irish Times.

Minister Ross pointed out some challenges with his proposal including that the funding and administration of a second test would require extra resources and manpower but that the issue of the road safety and keeping abreast with changes to the rules needed to be addressed.

Politically it would be an unpopular move to introduce a second theory test but with driver demographics shifting to an older profile the idea of second round testing is not new in several countries.

In South Australia, if you are 85 years of age or older and hold a class of licence other than a ‘car’ you will need to pass a practical driving test each year to retain that class of licence.
The idea of retesting older commercial drivers in some countries is also being discussed.