Ogra Fianna Fail in Roscommon want to abolish driving test

Given the recent national controversy over the changes to the driving test and particularly the proposed change in the law regarding the need for drivers on second provisional licences to be accompanied by a qualified driver, it was hardly surprising that the matter came up for discussion at the recent Ógra Fianna Fáil meeting held in Ballaghaderreen.    The consensus from the meeting was that the structure and format of the present driving test and general system of learning to drive should be completely abolished as soon as possible and replaced with a new and more effective way of training and testing learner drivers.    Ógra Fianna Fáil Roscommon has previously called for the introduction of practical driving lessons and not just theory/road safety lessons for senior cycle students – and believes this is the opportune time to incorporate them into the leaving cert curriculum.   Commenting on the meeting, Chairperson of Ógra Roscommon, Ivan Connaughton stated ‘throughout the meeting the feeling among our members was clear. The outdated driving test and the provisional licence system as presently constituted serves nobody and must be abolished. Quite frankly it is a useless exercise in many respects, be that from a driver education/road safety viewpoint or simply as an effective method of teaching people to drive. The difference between passing or failing your test is perceived by many as arbitrary or the ‘luck of the draw’ in a situation where luck should play absolutely no part. Many good drivers fail tests but more worryingly many bad drivers pass theirs.’   Ivan continued to say that ‘the recent proposals of the Road Safety Authority are based on a completely false premise – that it is simply a matter of herding people through the current test, reducing the waiting times and reducing the numbers of provisionally licenced drivers on the road. We are surprised that these are the best solutions the RSA can muster.    ‘As their name suggests, the RSA is charged with the promotion of safety on the roads and driver awareness. The responsible approach to this is hardly to rush people through the current test, which, given the history and volume of road deaths and injuries in this country hardly has what could be described as a successful record or be the correct ‘vehicle’ to use – pardon the pun. This approach is seriously flawed.’