Dáil Éireann - Volume 507 - 01 July, 1999

Written Answers. - Learner Drivers.

164. Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the regulations in relation to learner drivers on provisional licences driving alone and on motorways accompanied or otherwise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17146/99]

166. Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the position in relation to be insured as an owner or driver; the concern, if any, he has at the number of people on provisional licences driving alone in their own vehicles; the action, if any, he will take to improve the current position; and if he will insist that a full driving licence is necessary in order to be eligible for insurance as an owner driver unaccompanied. [17148/99]

[967] Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Molloy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 164 and 166 together.

Provisional licence holders are required by law to be accompanied by a qualified driver when driving except where the person holds a second provisional licence to drive cars, or is the holder of a provisional licence to drive motorcycles or tractors-work vehicles. All provisional licence holders are prohibited from driving on motorways.

Any person using a mechanically propelled vehicle in a public place must be covered by insurance indemnifying the owner and driver against claims for personal injury and or property damage by third parties. To ensure the reasonably durable validity of motor insurance policies, approved policies have for many years been limited by regulations made under the Road Traffic Acts in terms of the type and range of conditions which may be validly included in them. Conditions in relation to driver accompaniment are not among those for which valid provision may be made in approved motor insurance policies.

The Government Strategy for Road Safety 1998-2002 has proposed, for the longer term, a significant reduction in the number of Irish drivers relying on a provisional licence.