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Safeway is back to business from tomorrow 29/06/20, please contact me at 086 8972778, if you wish to book a lesson, keep safe Martin @ Safeway ... See MoreSee Less

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Hi Folk’s, latest update from Road Safety Authority,

Dear ADI,

We want to take this opportunity to update you on the Road Safety Authority’s (RSA) efforts to get the driving test operating again. We know the past few months have been very difficult and stressful for you and that you are anxious to get back providing lessons to candidates. We too want to be back on the pitch testing candidates as soon as possible, but the overriding consideration in doing so must be the safety of our staff and our customers.

We have been working closely with the Department on putting in place a plan that would see the return of the driving test service. As the Minister confirmed, we do see the possibility of truck, bus and motorcycle testing resuming in Phase 3 of the Government’s Road Map to reopening the country. So, assuming the Government approves the move to the next phase, and the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport approve our resumption in line with service protocols, testing of candidates in these three categories could return on the 29 June.

The resumption of car testing is more of a challenge. The issue is that the test candidate and the driver tester cannot maintain physical distancing. They would be sitting within a two-meter distance of each other in a confined space, and for periods in excess of 15 minutes. Physical distancing is something which the National Return to Work Safely Protocol asks all employers to review so that alternative protective measures can be put in place where the two-metre rule cannot be maintained. Subject to government approving the move to Phase 3, we are aiming to get Category B ‘car tests’ back at the earliest opportunity in phase 3.

As part of our resumption of service plans, we have created an FAQs document to provide you with the latest information and to outline some of the new protocols that will apply at driving test centres.

When we have more concrete details on any aspect of the resumption of driver testing services, and subject to them being approved by the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport, we will be in touch with all ADIs to update you on developments.

In the meantime, we want to thank you all for your patience. This is a very challenging time for everyone, but we know that by working together we can find a pathway to safely getting back to helping our customers become better safer drivers.

Frequently Asked Questions

for Resumption of Driver Testing Services

June 2020

1. When are driving tests resuming?

We expect to resume tests for trucks, buses, and motorcycles (except for C1 and D1 categories) week commencing 29 June. Tests for these categories will resume gradually during that week. While a date has not yet been finalised, we are targeting resuming car tests and C1 and D1 categories) at the earliest opportunity in phase 3. Further actions are necessary to ensure we can safely meet public health safety measures, and this will dictate the actual resumption date.

Can the RSA provide a roadmap with indicative timelines for the resumption of testing to allow for demand management of driving lessons to allow students to be properly prepared for the driving test.

It is envisaged that, in line with Phase 3 of the Government Roadmap , motorcycle testing will be the first of our testing services to resume followed closely by truck and bus tests and finally a phased resumption to car testing Final dates for service resumption remain under discussion and are dependent on continued positive progression of the country against the overall Government roadmap. Subject to government approving the move to Phase 3, we are aiming to get Category B ‘car tests’ back at the earliest opportunity in phase 3 (in light of the government’s revised road map for the reopening of Ireland). We will continue to update and advise ADIs of exact timings as we obtain more clarity and continue to move towards Phase 3.

3. Will the content of any of the driving tests change?

No, the driving test content will remain the same

4. Can an ADI visit a test centre?

No, only those people with a driving test appointment may attend a driving test centre. This is in order to conform with public health requirements.

What steps will driver testers be taking to prevent the spread of Covid-19
Driver testers will be wearing facemasks as will all customers (except those who cannot do so for health reasons). Driver testers will also carry pocket sized hand sanitisers and wipes while in the vehicle.

6. Can the RSA assist with any guidance on what PPE at a minimum is required when we recommence driver tuition?

As ADI’s are independent commercial entities, ultimate responsibility for safe resumption of driver tuition and education lies with each individual ADI and you should satisfy yourself that you have taken the necessary actions to ensure a safe resumption to work in line with the relevant public health guidance and the “Return to Work Safely Protocol” document.

The RSA is reviewing how the driver testing service can resume safely in line with the government’s National Protocol for returning to work and alongside the public health advice and guidance.

As set out by the Health and Safety Authority and other government guidance, the most important actions that can be taken to protect staff and customers from COVID-19 is to undertake regular hand-washing, good respiratory hygiene and to follow physical distancing guidelines. While this is still being reviewed internally, revised measures on resumption of driving tests is likely to include, amongst other things, the following:

Customers will be asked to cancel their appointment if they develop COVID symptoms in the days before or on the date of the test. No cancellation fee will apply, and Customers will be rescheduled at a later date.
Limiting access to the driving test centre, which will mean that only the test customers will be allowed entry and any accompanying ADI or family member/friend will be asked to remain outside.
Customers should ensure that their vehicle is clean and free from any tissues or personal items and that where possible windows on passenger and driver side are left partially open. The ‘recirculated air’ option for the car's ventilation should be set to ‘off’ to ensure as much fresh air as possible is circulating in the vehicle.
Customers may be contacted by the driver tester via phone as part of the initial pre-test ‘meet and greet’ so as to reduce face to face contact. If this occurs the mobile phone number provided at the time of application will be used.
Where possible, and weather permits, as much activity between the driver tester and candidate will be conducted in the outdoors.
Customers will be asked to wash / sanitise their hands before and after the test
Customers will be provided with a face covering during the test which must be worn, if the customers cannot wear a face covering then they must confirm this in advance of the test appointment. The driver tester will also wear a face covering.
Customers may be asked to wipe their learner permit with sanitiser before presenting it to the tester.

Maintaining a distance of two metres can largely be followed in the carrying out of Bus, Truck and Bike tests but it is not physically possible when conducting a car test. However, in line with government guidance, processes should support having as much physical distance as is reasonably practicable and safe between the driver tester and the customers and additional protective measures such as the wearing of face covering should be put in place. This should all be done in conjunction with good hygiene practices and respiratory etiquette.

Will I need to modify my car in advance of service resumption?
Each individual ADI should satisfy themselves that they have taken the necessary actions to ensure a safe resumption to work in line with the relevant public health guidance.

The RSA does not intend on issuing any COVID requirement to ADIs around vehicle modifications. However, if you are considering fitting your vehicle with Perspex panels or any other physical barriers during the Covid19 pandemic, you should contact the vehicle’s original manufacturer or authorised distributor. They are best placed to advise if there are any safety implications or if it is possible to carry out the proposed fitting without affecting the performance of the vehicle’s safety features, e.g. airbags etc. You must also ensure that any such installation does not present a danger to the driver, occupants, or any other road user. It is important to remember that, under Irish road traffic regulations it is the responsibility of the owner and or driver to ensure that their vehicle is maintained in a roadworthy condition at all times when used in a public place. In such cases ADIs may also need to consult with their insurance companies.

8. What will be the new procedures for ADIs and test candidates attending at driving test centers?

When testing services resume, ADIs will no longer be permitted to accompany test candidates into the Test Centre or to use the waiting areas. ADIs must also vacate the vehicle in advance of the Driver Tester and test candidate arriving at the vehicle. In order to minimise any additional risks of Covid-19 contamination, public toilets at Test Centres will be for test candidates use only.

9. Are there any items that the RSA will require in terms of the vehicle that candidates use for their test, or where an ADI vehicle may be used?

As well as the normal vehicle requirements such as NCT and so on, customers should ensure that the vehicle they intend to use for their driving test is clean and free from any tissues or personal items. Where possible windows on the passenger and driver side should be left partially open and the ‘recirculated air’ option for the car's ventilation should be set to ‘off’ to ensure as much fresh air as possible is circulating in the vehicle.

The RSA expectation is that ADIs will adhere to the government protocol requirements with regards to sanitisation of work areas taking into account the health and safety of both the test candidate and the Driver Tester. This would include, but not be limited to, implementing thorough and regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces such as steering wheels, gear sticks, door handles, hand brake and so forth.

10. What will a phased resumption testing plan look like?

As with all areas of society, implementing the current public health social distancing and sanitisation requirements within the driving test service, will impact on our ability to provide the same level of driving test appointments as before. At the time of test suspension waiting times on average across the country were less than six weeks. On resumption waiting times will be substantially longer. However, it is hoped that once the service resumes, and after an initial adjustment period has taken place, that we can then plan to increase availability of test appointments.

11. What test capacity will be available?

Initially test capacity will be reduced as adjustments to comply with public health guidelines are bedded in. However, it is envisaged that a robust demand management plan will be put in place to cater for candidates who wish to sit their test and progress on their journey to become a safe driver.
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