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TD calls for end of L-plate accompanied driver rule

TD calls for end of L-plate accompanied driver rule

A TD has called for an end to the L-plate accompanied driver rule in response to extended driving test wait times.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1's Drive Time, Clare TD Cathal Crowe (FF) noted that "mams and dads can't drive every road in the country", before adding that rural families are being hit the hardest by the driving law.

The TD went on to say that he knows of young people who have missed out on college places and even employment opportunities because of protracted test wait times.

There are currently over 47,000 learner drivers in Ireland waiting for a test.

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The average wait time for a driving test in Ireland currently stands at 19 weeks, with delays as long as 35 weeks being reported in some parts of the country.

Further reasoning the relaxation, Deputy Crowe said "when someone applies for the test, they have undergone extensive training and a number of lessons, [along with] undergoing rigorous theory testing."

The current law states that a learner driver must always have someone with a full driving licence in the car when driving. This person must have had their driving licence for at least 2 years.

Learner drivers racking up penalty points

The call follows news that an average of 20 learner drivers recieve penalty points every day for speeding.

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That's according to freedom of information figures, which highlights an astonishing figure of 2,122 penalised for the offence between January and July.

Furthermore, 238 learners received penalty points for holding a mobile phone while driving, during the same seven-month period.

Speaking about the figures, Brian Farrell from the Road Safety Authority has emphasised just how dangerous an offence this is.

"You're four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash if you're holding a mobile phone while driving", he said.

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"You can't operate and use a mobile phone and drive a car, operate the controls, listen out for any road user cues.

"It may take something like getting points and a fine for people to wise up to the fact that using a mobile phone while driving is just not a safe combination."

Learner permit driversΒ are disqualified from driving if they accumulate seven penalty points.

Penalty points remain on your licence record for three years, and any period where your licence is out of date.

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