New driving test portal causes more problems than it fixes

By Oisín Cusack

The new driving test portal introduced by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) before Christmas to combat the massive test backlog has caused more harm than good.

The RSA introduced the new portal where drivers can organise all of their driving goals to alleviate the stress of the backlog. However, Robert Doyle, a driving instructor based in Galway city, believes the timing could not have been worse.

driving test
Photo courtesy of Robert Doyle

“It was brought in during the middle of a chaotic situation anyway and for the first few months it has been a disaster” he said.

The problems seem to lie with the technical side of the site that are not up to scratch.

“It was crashing all over the place and giving driving dates to people who had not even finished their 12 lessons,” he said.

Ultimately, he believes that it was a big mistake by the RSA to introduce the system.

“It shouldn’t have been brought in, especially when the system turned out to be so flawed” he concluded.

Listen to what Robert Doyle had to say

The situation is especially difficult for those who are waiting on a test and whose lives have been put on hold because of the wait.

Rachel Nic An Ultaigh, who lives in Connemara and does lessons in Galway city, has been waiting almost six months for a driving test date and is frustrated at the state of affairs.

“I have heard absolutely nothing about a date, not a peep,” she said. “I tried ringing them everyday for about two weeks but the call would never go through.”

Rachel agrees with Robert about the new customer portal saying it has only made getting a date harder.

“On the portal I was an hour in a queue and when I got to the top of the queue it put me back to the start,” she said. “It happened a few times so I just gave up on it, it’s a terrible system.”

The driving backlog is difficult for applicants and the RSA must improve the new portal if the situation is to improve.

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