Coveney welcomes proposals for compulsory driving lessons

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But warns measures must not discriminate against less well off

Fine  Gael  Transport  Spokesman Simon Coveney TD has said he would welcome
compulsory  lessons  for  learner  drivers, but said any proposals must not
discriminate against lower income families.

“I will fully endorse any proposals to increase the minimum number of hours
that learner drivers are required to receive from qualified instructors.

“I  firmly believe that no-one should be allowed to drive a car unless they
have had professional instruction and a certain amount of practice. This is
the only way to ensure that everyone reaches an acceptable level of driving
skills and an understanding of road safety before driving unaccompanied.

“However,  any  new initiative must not discriminate against those on lower
incomes.  There  is  a  danger  that  imposing  a minimum number of driving
lessons will be prohibitively expensive for some families.

“Fine  Gael  will  not  support  any  proposal that makes it impossible for
families  who cannot afford to pay for lessons to be excluded from driving.
Learning  to  drive  and  passing  the  test  should not be determined by a
person’s income.

“So  I am calling on the Government to examine the feasibility of the State
providing  some  contribution  to lower income families towards the cost of
compulsory driving lessons.”