Over 21,000 motorists driving with just a learner permit for at least a decade

Over 21,000 motorists driving with just a learner permit for at least a decade

1,400 have had a learner permit for over 26 years

More than 21,000 people have been driving with only a learner permit for at least 11 years, it has emerged.

A further 1,400 have had a learner permit for over 26 years.

The figures, which were released to Newstalk FM under Freedom of Information legislation, are concerning according to Brian Farrell of the Road Safety Authority.

"We would encourage all those people on those learner permits to come forward and take their driving test,” he said.

However, Mr Farell acknowledged this was particularly challenging at the moment given coronavirus restrictions.

“But really and truly at this stage these people should be coming forward for a driving test.” 

A recent survey from AA Ireland showed more than 12% of the 4,000 respondents knew of at least one learner driver “regularly” driving without an accompanying driver.

A further 9.6% of respondents “partially agreed” with the statement.

The same survey found almost a third of households (29%) have been directly affected by the restrictions on driving tests during lockdown.

According to the Department of Transport, nearly 232,000 drivers currently have learner permits.

Under current rules, you can’t apply for a third or subsequent learner permit unless you’ve recently done a driving test or have an upcoming test.

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