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1 in 5 learner drivers have L-plates for over 8 years (Irish Examiner)

04 November 2011

About 20% of L-plate drivers have been motoring on Irish roads without a full licence for more than eight years.

Figures obtained by the Irish Examiner show that nearly 55,000 learner drivers have gone through four or more provisional licences. Each provisional licence — now called a learner permit — lasts for two years.
This means almost one fifth of Ireland’s 308,000 learner drivers have still not passed their driving tests despite being allowed to get behind the wheel before the start of new millennium.

The figures also reveal that tens of thousands of L-plate drivers have been cruising on roads without full licences for even longer.
Figures released by road safety chiefs reveal 14,320 motorists are on their fifth learner permit which means they have still not successfully done a driving test since they applied for their first licence a decade ago. Another 10,065 drivers are on their sixth learner permit, the figures show.
Despite the tens of thousands of drivers who have been motoring without full driving licences, road safety chiefs claim many “serial L-platers” are finally going through the test system.
Road Safety Authority chief Noel Brett said: “We are pleased significant numbers of those who have been relying long term on learner permits have applied for a driving test and are progressing through the system.”