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Erm, yes, I’m on my 6th provisional July 25, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish.

Much coverage has been given recently to the fact that in this country of ours it is possible to pretty much never have to take your driving test, but all the same be a regular, legal driver.

There are apparently, drivers out there on the roads of Ireland who are on their umpteenth provisional licence.  You see, foreign readers, in Ireland you can get behind the wheel of a car without ever, ever, ever having had any sort of driver training whatsoever … all you have to do, if you were so inclined, would be to pass the Driver Theory Test, which anyone could soak up just for the exam.

And it gets better – the rules governing provisional licence holders are nuts !  Pure and simple.   On your first provisional licence, you must, according to SI 352/99 Road Traffic (Licensing of Drivers) Regulations 1999, be accompanied by a fully qualified driver.  On your second, you don’t have to be … but on your third and any thereafter, you do !  And I’ve had a Guard tell me that “I’d be fierce unlucky” if he pulled me for the “non-accompaniment” rule … and it’s true – how many L plate drivers do you see on their own in cars ?

And the best bit … if/when you fail the Driving Test, they issue you a new licence anyway (3rd or more provisional) … and you can drive away from the Test Centre.

Great little country if you could only roof ‘er …



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