Monday, June 2, 2008

Driving in Ireland - an update

Last October the Minister for Transport postponed his decision to change the law on learner drivers driving unaccompanied. Next month he's going to try again. (See

This is another doomed attempt by the Minister to compel learner drivers in Ireland to have a qualified driver with them at all times. Why? Well to start with only 140,000 of the 400,000 unqualified drivers have applied to take their tests so it is unlikely that these drivers will have taken the test by then anyway. So what will happen? One of two things. The Minister will back down again to demands by the unqualified drivers, or the law will be introduced - but like so many laws here, it will not be enforced.

Unfortunately many Irish drivers just don't see the need to be qualified and complain that liviing in the countryside is impossible unless you drive and that it isn't always possible to get a qualified driver to accompany you. Yes I know every other country in the world manages this one, but not here. I was reading the Irish Times this Saturday and an article on this subject by Rosita Boland just goes to demonstrate the Irish desgregard for being qualified. One female, reported Rosita, had decided that she will just "Just dodge the Guards", but more appallingly was the attitude of one mother, who in her own words failed "big time" when she took her test but admitted to driving with her baby in the car. This woman should be locked up. Not for her own good but that of her baby. But then I shouldn't be surprised at this attitude as parents here can often be seen driving around with their little Rug-Rats jumping around in the front or back seats without seat belts. I've even seen babies only able to crawl laid on the back seat waiting to be thrown through the car windscreen when the next idiot crashes into them. The odd thing is that mum can often be seen wearing a belt. Assuming they know what it is for, they feel no need to extend the safety to their offspring.

We'll see what the Minister does next month. Don't hold your breath.

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