McGuinness and Funchion sought to fast-track tests for Kilkenny learner drivers: report
TWO local TDs are among a raft of opposition and Government deputies and ministers who have sought to fast-track driving tests for their constituents.
Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness and Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funchion contacted the Road Safety Authority to make representations on behalf of their learner drivers in Kilkenny, according to a report in The Sunday Independent.
Learner drivers in Kilkenny and across the country are being forced to endure agonising delays to take their tests.
Deputy McGuinness’ FF colleagues, Niamh Smyth, James Browne and Willie O’Dea also made requests on behalf of constituents, as did Deputy Funchion’s fellow Sinn Fein TD Martin Kenny.
Several senior and junior ministers, including Shane Ross, Michael Creed, Jim Daly, Paul Kehoe and Brendan Griffin also sought to fast-track drive tests for learner drivers in their constituencies.
Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act reveal how an email from a senior politician to the RSA on behalf of a constituent can knock weeks, if not months, off waiting times.
In most instances, the RSA responds to the politician with a test date within a couple of weeks of the request at a driving test centre where other motorists could be waiting for as long as seven months.
More than 83,000 people are currently waiting for a driving test.
However, the RSA has insisted that drivers who contact the authority directly seeking a short notice test or cancellation appointment are “not treated any less favourably” than those who do so through a politician.