The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has been called on by independent TD Danny Healy Rae to tackle the “long delays” that have developed for driver theory tests and driver tests.

Speaking in the Dáil today (Thursday, May 6), the Kerry TD said driver theory tests are “at a standstill” – which is preventing young drivers in rural Ireland from getting on the road.

“Tánaiste, I want to bring to your attention that there are almost 3,000 learner drivers waiting for a driving test in Kerry.

“Apart from lorries and buses who can do the theory test online why can’t the theory test be set up online for all vehicles?

“The government are supposedly been working with the RSA [Road Safety Authority] to get the theory test online for over a year now – I ask why it is taking more than a year to get this off the ground?

“Traditionally farmers’ sons and daughters could do their theory test when they became 16 years of age, get their provisional license and drive a tractor to help out on the farm or get a job locally for the summer – this is not possible now,” he said.

“Now, young drivers cannot do the theory test, cannot get their provisional license, and can’t get on the road. It is essential for everybody to have a licence in rural Ireland.

“I am asking you Tánaiste to ask the testers to work on Saturdays and Sundays to deal with the back log and to ensure that the theory test can be applied for online for all learner drivers to get on the road,” deputy Healy Rae concluded.