About effing time!
- The provisional licence is being replaced by a learner permit to emphasise the fact that the holder is learning to drive.
- Existing provisional licences will continue in force until their expiry date after which the holder will be issued with a learner permit.
- A holder of a second provisional licence/learner permit for a car must be accompanied at all times.
- The accompanying driver must in respect of any licence category hold a full licence for the category for at least two years.
- From 1 December 2007 a learner motorcyclist must wear the letter L on a yellow fluorescent tabard.
- From 1 December a provisional licence/learner permit holder must hold the licence/permit for six months before taking a driving test.
Typically, the airwaves and blogs are filled with people on their 2nd, 3rd & 4th provisional licences complaining about how unfair this is for them. They won’t be able to drive to work, no one in their family holds a full licence, why wasn’t there more warning, etc, etc…
Pure and utter bullshit!
If you are on your 2nd provisional licence, then you held your 1st provisional for 2 years before that. Even with waiting periods of 33 weeks (that was Sept 2006, they are now down to an average of 23 weeks – source), you would have had 3 chances to sit their driving test (remember that people could have applied the day they got their provisional up until this announcement):
2 years = 104 weeks / 33 = 3.1
Also according to the RSA, 20% of test slots are being lost due to cancellations or people not turning up!
If you haven’t had the common sense to apply for your test, do lessons and pass it within 2 years, then I really don’t want you to be on the same roads as me! And if you’ve failed your test multiple times, then seriously, how do you think you are possibly qualified to be out driving on the roads unaccompanied?
If you rely on your car to get to / do your job, then get your employer to write a letter stating that driving is a requirement of your job. Send this to your local testing authority and you should get a test date within 2 weeks. I know of several friends that have done this. Sit a driving lesson every evening for those 2 weeks with a GOOD driving instructor and then you should pass – simple as that.
UPDATE: Not that any of this matters, because Noel Dempsey (Minister for Transport) said today:
The Minister believes that sensible Garda enforcement of that type will mean that for an initial period of a few months, Garda efforts in the main will be aimed at cautioning and advising unaccompanied drivers of the new legal requirements.