Learner Drivers in Ireland to Face the EDT Truth - Finally!

In the past five years we've written extensively on how Learner Drivers in Ireland should be behaving. Of course no one likes to be told how to behave, especially here in Ireland where we are a Nation of Saints and Scholars; a community of Hi-Tech geeks with more money than sense (especially in their choice of Cars!) and a League Table of World Beating Artists and Musicians that any country would love to own.

Thankfully, our whole existence is not wrapped up in the dubious, over paid, pursuit of kicking a leather ball around which tends to preoccupy many countries with nothing better to do. OK that's my little rant over for the moment.

On to something much more serious than goal line technology or who's going to take over from Sir Alex when he reaches 85! As we write the organisation responsible for Road Safety and all things related to Learning to Drive, the RSA is rolling out its' new Flagship program the EDT which comes into force on 4th April 2011.

This Essential Driver Training Program finally brings together what we have all known for a very long time. What's that you may well ask? Well we've had no culture of learning to drive here in Ireland...EVER...

Most Developed EU Nations have been studiously researching, planning and implementing Road Safety strategies to bring down the level of carnage on the roads. Here in Evergreen and Everwet Ireland we have been fine tuning musical and writing talents and those of stage and screen but not a night's sleep has been lost in putting forward a plan of action to bring a new and effective Learning to Drive program into existence! That is until now.

It is true that numerous changes to Road Traffic Laws have taken place in Ireland over the last seven years, all of which incidentally, have been driven by EU standards and procedures.

These have included Going Metric; The Driver Theory Test, The National Cat Test (known as the MOT in UK), The New Learner Permit (which replaces the old Provisional License) Outsourcing of Driving Tests to bring down the waiting list and so on.

Before summer 2009 there had been no Regulation of Driving Schools or Driving Instructors so it made sense that this should be the first priority of the RSA in dramatically improving Driving Standards of Learner Drivers, to be then followed by a New Training regime that every Leaner Driver would be obliged to undergo.

The introduction of the Qualification and Registration of Driving Instructors had been talked about and mulled over by successive Governments and Transport Ministers and it has paved the way for the commencement of the new Essential Driver Training Program.

From 4th April 2011 all new Learner Permit holders will be required to go through a detailed 12 stage program of specific Lessons which will have to be signed off by a Professional Instructor before the Learner driver will be allowed to sit the Driving Test. This not only will ensure that Leaner Drivers are trained and equipped with essential skills, it will naturally have the effect of saving lives and reducing the heartbreak of serious injuries that can also completely destroy the lives of the Living.

There is another key benefit in this dramatic new program which will be that no longer will there be a procession of Learner Drivers attempting to take the Test when they are clearly unfit to have a chance of passing. This was the situation that we have endured for many years with waiting times for a Driving Test reaching the farcical. In some Test Centres delays would have been over one year.

"No Learner Permit holder will be permitted to sit the Test without the signed EDT Certificate completed by the ADI. The ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) will sign off each Specific Lesson which will possibly take a period of up to six months to complete."

The net effect of all of this new legislation will be that Learner Drivers presenting themselves for the Test will have completed an in depth level of Training that will give them a fighting chance of getting through the Test first time. Providing they follow the Procedures laid out in the EDT program and continue to practise and take lessons under the watchful eye of their Instructor they will be much more likely to succeed.

The Days of ringing up a Driving Instructor two weeks prior to the Driving Test looking for a lesson or two are well and truly over!

Yes its' going to be quite a shock to the system for a lot of unsuspecting Learner Drivers but many more of them will still be alive, safe and well and enjoying what life has to offer, instead of appearing on a headstone before their 30th Birthday.

The Essential Driver Training Program will also attempt to bring in an official "Sponsor" who will liaise with the Driving Instructor to provide the best possible training to the Learner. The whole emphasis on this and the other phases of new regulations in the pipe line is to create not only a radically improved new culture of Learning to Drive in Ireland but a New Generation of safer and more competent Road users.

author: Robin Piggott

 Robin Piggott is a Driving Instructor in Ireland who brings four decades of experience to his Astral Driving School His web site will equip you with everything you need to know about Learning to Drive In Ireland Passing the Irish Driving Test and vital new information on the Essential Driver Training program just coming into force in 2011!

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