Test failure - Licensed to kill?

Driving a car can be as potentially lethal as firing a gun. 

While the rules and standards for driving licences are never likely to the match the stringency applied when issuing firearms licences in Ireland, the tragic case heard at Cork City Coroner’s Court yesterday highlights the need for a close look at what needs to be done to ensure that motorists are capable of safe driving and that changes to their circumstances are properly monitored.

The court heard that a hit-and-run driver in a specially-adapted car who killed a six-year-old boy had suffered from two severe brain injuries, with medication totalling 18 tablets a day. His driving licence was previously renewed, without a safety check in the form of driving test resit.

It will be scant consolation for the bereaved parents, but their dignified response to tragedy in the form of a call for law reform to protect others requires an effective top-level review to see what can be done. That should be a priority for responsible authorities including the National Driver Licence Service and the Transport ministry.

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