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Thousands Await Driving Tests in Dublin

Dublin: The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has disclosed concerning statistics regarding the backlog of driving test applicants in Dublin, revealing a significant waiting list of approximately 30,000 individuals. According to a Freedom of Information response from the RSA, as of the end of March, 21,533 applicants were awaiting their driving tests across eight test centres in the Dublin region. Alarmingly, 7,971 scheduled test dates did not materialise.

The distribution of applicants across various test centres in Dublin highlights that certain centres are experiencing notably higher demand. Tallaght, Dún Laoghaire, Deansgrange, and Finglas emerge as the busiest test centers. Tallaght, for instance, recorded a staggering 7,519 individuals awaiting test dates, with 2,012 appearing for scheduled tests and 5,425 driving tests conducted in the first three months alone.

Dún Laoghaire/ Deansgrange centres follow closely as the second busiest, with 4,472 individuals booked and waiting for tests, and 1,258 tests scheduled in March. Finglas, with 2,768 learner’s licence holders awaiting test dates, conducted 3,926 tests so far this year.

In contrast, Charlestown registered the fewest individuals awaiting tests last month, with 575 taking test dates, followed by Mulhuddart Maple House with 618 students.

The significant backlog has been attributed to a substantial increase in learner permit applications, which have surged by 30% since 2019. This heightened demand for driving tests over the past two years, surpassing previous records set in 2021, with a subsequent 28% increase observed in 2022. Additionally, an expansion in the number of advanced driving instructors post-pandemic has contributed to more learners qualifying for driving tests.

To address the backlog, the RSA assures that measures will be implemented to reduce waiting times, with applicants failing the test being offered another chance after a period of six to eight weeks.

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