Over 4,600 people driving on learner permits for over 21 years - report

The Road Safety Authority said they are working to disincentivise the practice of continuously renewing learner permits.
Over 4,600 people driving on learner permits for over 21 years - report

Muireann Duffy

Over 4,600 people have been driving on a learner permit for at least 21 years.

Newstalk reports freedom of information figures show almost 9,000 drivers have has only a learner permit for over 16 years.

The figures also show 2,500 learner drivers received penalty points for not having a fully qualified driver accompanying them.

Speaking to Newstalk, Brian Farrell from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) said the figures are worrying.

"It's an extreme case we are taking about here in terms of people on a learners' permit for such a length of time, but it is a practice that does need to be stamped out because it's making a mockery of the system," Mr Farrell said.

"We have made submissions to the Department for Transport in relation to measures that could be introduced to further disincentivise people rolling over their learner permits continuously and not taking a test," he added.

Currently, according to the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) website, a driver's first or second learner permit is valid for two years, as is a third or subsequent learner permit if they can show evidence that they have failed a driving test in the previous two years.

Otherwise, their third or subsequent permit only lasts for one year and they must show evidence that they have "applied for or have a forthcoming test date".

While on a learner permit, drivers must display L plates on the front and rear of the vehicle and have a fully qualified driver in the car accompanying them at all times.

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