Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Sligo driving test rates pass out rest of the country

Having trouble passing your driving test? If you are a serial failure when it comes to (legally) discarding the L-plates, help is at hand in the form of Sligo’s driving test centre which boasts a 67.1% pass rate.

In contrast, Dublin’s Rathgar centre is one to avoid if you want to retain any remaining tatters of positive self-esteem you might still possess. Hard-line examiners in the leafy Dublin suburb pass only 30.6% of candidates, according to a report in last Sunday’s Tribune.

Of course if you live in, say, Dublin and have to drive to Sligo on your provisional licence, it will mean having to take to the motorway with your L-plates on full view. But sure who cares about that? Anyway, you can always just put them in the glove compartment and whip them out when you get to the test centre.

What’s more, if you really are such a disaster that you even manage to FAIL in Sligo, I’m sure nobody there will bat an eyelid when you head back to the car for the long drive home. Just be careful.

And let me know when your test is taking place and the route you’ll be taking on the way home.

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Ella said...

Hi GM, sure it's a great little country, where else can you drive to your driving test, FAIL and drive off again.

Anonymous said...

You sound surprised GM, it does'nt surprise me in the least. This is Ireland afterall.
It makes sense really, it explains why Irish people cant seem to drive. They see their car as an exstension of their psyche, a tool to frustrate sensible conscientious individuals.

Its sad and frustrating to think, there is no alternative to driving in this country. Your observation makes that worse.


Anna said...

You’re preaching to the converted here….low standards of driving here amaze me ,……Before anyone reminds me that I am from N Ireland, a place also with dodgy standards of driving,
1) It’s not something I Ever forget…not just for the bad things but the good as well
2) 2) Surprisingly NI often does manage better driving standards:
Scientifically It is Worth considering Drivers in the north as a control group, as : Genetically all on this isle are the Same lab rats , Irish/English/Scottish mix:
Economically the same; NI has always been the Poorest part of the UK, with the usual problems of poverty, a largest swathe of poorer less educated people etc.
BUT we drive under application of British standards of road safety(obviously more money is spent on the roads as well) :
You DO not get on the roads and tear about on your own with just a provisional licence- and 5 test failures under your belt.
Initially my father gave me a few lessons, in a car park, and then on a deserted road, then I went to a driving school for a few months, then passed the test. It used to be that I could have just got lessons from my father- now the law has tightened up, so that any new driver Has to get lessons from a school-a family member is not enough
And transgression of the law, drink driving, no driving licence etc are dealt with more severely by police and courts.
In NI, I believe, to be an instructor, you have to pass some kind of official test set by the Driver & Vehicle testing Agency ( NI)- but down here( well until about 2-3 yrs ago anyway) there was Nothing to stop someone with 10 test failures and who had been involved in drunken crashes, even involving deaths, opening their own school. Ok now driving school instructors here, are slowly being phased in to having to pass some kind of a test- that’s a start. But persuading Irish people even to get lessons?
Doesn’t even seem to occur to them that in other responsible nations, France, Germany, Norway etc you learn to drive with a qualified instructor sitting beside you- and an absolute minimum of about 20 lessons is needed
When I say the above to anyone at work, that in any responsible EU country you do Not sit in a driver’s seat- where you never sat in your life- turn the key and then whiz off on your own, I get blank stares and ‘Sure how are you supposed to learn how to drive??’
Look, if you’re wheeled into an operating theatre and a youthful surgeon, cheerily picks up a scalpel and says,” I never did this before- but How are you supposed to learn how to operate?” would you be happy? I rest my case.

Ponyboy said...

It's lovely to hear stories about the lads at the auld Dept of Cars and nice to know that nothing's changed there in the last 30 or so years. My favourite one from this particular Dept would have to be their management strategy in response to the queues of provisional drivers unable to get driving test appointments until after their licenses (valid for 6 months) had expired on account of the lengthy waiting times. This was in the great old days when you had to wait at least six months to get a phone connection in Ireland unless of course you had some FF connectivity, But I digress and anyway that was the Dept of Phones - same stable, different horse. So back at the Dept of Cars and in response to the crisis there was a high level meeting and a directive was issued - all those punters on their first provisionals whose licenses would be expired by the time their appointments were scheduled "shure they could just apply and get another auld provisional" (Punters -Get it?) and with a bit a luck probably get tested before the second one ran out. The minister for Cars approved it and the high level lads went to the pub and bought each other pints and did lots of mutual backslapping and cross praising. But there was still a problem. My wife was on her second provisional license at the time and had to wait for 8 months before she could get a test appointment it wasn't possible to get a third prov license in those days (cmiiw). Anyway the boys from the Dept of Cars were recalled from the pub once the phones started ringing with people like my wife (on a neighbours phone cos we hated FF almost as much as FG)), asking the obvious question. So a bigger directive was sent out and that's how she and thousands of other drivers in Ireland on their second prov licenses never had to take the test and were unleashed untested onto the roads. Fortunately for the road users of East Galway (and credit where credit is due) I am a really good instructor and as a result she never endangered a soul in all the subsequent years. I'm not so sure about some of the others though.

Anna said...

Yes PB I remember the issue of ‘fake’ full driving licences @ mid-late ‘80‘s.. Consternation ensued - people said ‘Will holders be allowed to open their own schools? ’After all these were Full driving licenses- which should only be issued to people who had Passed the test- and yet they went out to those who( for all anyone knew) had Never sat in a driving seat- or even knew where the ignition key went.
The official ‘logic’ was , ‘Well if they are on their 2nd licence they must have had a few lessons, so they must be able to drive a bit ! No- How was there any Proof that these people ( excluding your wife) had Ever got instruction from an experienced or even Inexperienced driver? They might have put the licence in a drawer and never sat in the car- or been given a few ’lessons’ from a boy racer, or been arrogant enough, as Some are, to think they didn‘t Need anyone to show them what to do!.
Anyway they stopped handing out full licences, to people who often did not Even Know the Address of their local Test centre (!) The reason for that particular back log was because of several months -long postal strikes in the ‘80‘s. But the ‘logic’ that if you’re on your 2nd provisional licence, you must have picked up some road savvy persisted- so those on 2nd Prov license are still blithely allowed to drive on their own- after all if you’re on your 2nd you must have picked up 6 months experience driving about with an experienced driver, while on your 1st licence!
The ‘monopoly money’ licenses was 1985 (?) but here’s a story from 2006, when I met a Sligo couple - Tom, aged 24 had finished college, she was a year or two younger and was still there. He worked in Newry, & Sally was at College in Limerick. She had recently got a car, and was on her 2nd Provisional licence- never mind waiting 6 months till her 1st had expired to get this- she’d got it ONE DAY after getting her 1st licence.
When her 1st licence arrived, her Very conscientious uncle noticed a Tiny error in her name etc. He went to the licensing office, and demanded a new one- not a new first one - but a Second one , saying ,‘You’d be issuing a 2nd one to her anyway ( Yes! But that should have been SIX months after the 1st one!) so you might as well issue the 2nd one now.’’ And the Idiot public servant Gave in and gave it to her. I am a public servant-,( not in driver registration tho). In my dept I occasionally can bend the rules very slightly to help someone. However I would NEVER consider giving a licence to kill to a 20 yr old, who as far as anyone knew had never Even sat in a driving seat- let alone discerned Where the brake pedal was and How to use it. Let’s hope Sally did get the hang of it- she regularly drove 400 miles, alone, from Limerick to Newry to see Tom, for the 4 months he lived there.

The Gombeen Man said...

The difference is we're Irish.

Mark said...

Perhaps the high pass rate is because of a concentration of good quality instructors. The testers are moved around the country on a regular basis.