Shane Ross

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We Test Cars for Safety, but is it Time we Retested Drivers too?

Posted on: May 16th, 2006

One of the reasons for bad driving is that once one has passed the driving test at 17, there is absolutely no compulsion on one to keep up to date with any of the rules of the road…

There is a case for testing people regularly as the time of their driving tests becomes more distant. It is a bit absurd to say people are competent to drive in modern conditions when they passed a test 60 years ago.

This is not ageism but a matter of experience in that one may have passed one’s test in road conditions that were completely and utterly different from those of today. Everybody knows people travel at a much faster speed, that traffic congestion is much worse and that the rules of the road are different.

The Minister should consider some way of re-testing drivers who passed their tests a very long time ago. I do not believe I would pass one if I were asked to do so today. The NCTs would be more appropriate to people than cars and driving tests should be almost as frequent.