The move to bring the Driver Theory Test online should be accelerated to help clear the backlog of applications, a Fine Gael TD has said. Deputy Emer Higgins has said the online option is urgently needed to help address the disruption to normal services which has occurred since the Covid-19 pandemic. “80,000 Driver Theory Test appointments are booked for this year already and the RSA is under extreme pressure to meet waiting list requirements,” said Deputy Higgins.
“Moving the service online just makes sense. The RSA has been progressing plans to increase capacity once their services resume and is also piloting an online programme which will allow people to sit the theory test online. This needs to be accelerated now to help clear the backlog. “Many businesses have had to move online in the last year and have found innovative ways to keep appointments running remotely. We have seen schools and colleges successfully adapting to allow online exams, so we know it can be done while maintaining the integrity of the test.
“Between theory tests, driving lessons and actual driving tests, this industry has been really challenged by the pandemic and in cases like lessons and driving tests we must be guided by public health advice. But moving the theory test online, although ambitious, is achievable and would really help tackle the waiting lists. “So many of us, particularly young people, have been denied important rights of passage in the last year and the driver theory test is the first step on the road to getting your driver’s license and experiencing the freedom that can bring.
“We must do all that we can to restore this service and get people back on the road to experiencing that independence,” concluded Deputy Higgins.