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25 September 2020

Coronavirus (COVID – 19) Resumption of RSA services

The Government has announced restrictions to further prevent the spread of COVID 19 in Dublin from midnight on Friday 18 September for 3 weeks until the 9 October and in Donegal from midnight on Friday 25 September for 3 weeks until the 16 October. RSA services and services that are operated on behalf of the RSA will remain open namely, Driver testing, Driver Theory Test, National Driver Licence Service, National Car Test Service (NCTS) and Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Testing (CVRT). Please see more here

 

Driver Testing

Driving tests for cars resumed on Monday 20 July 2020 on a gradual basis. If you are attending for a car test please note that you will need to be aware of new procedures that have been put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19. You can find them here.You can find detailed frequently asked questions on the resumption of the driver testing service and Covid-19 measures here.

Bus truck and motorcycle tests resumed on the 29 June 2020. Testing is now operating in 48 RSA test centres and the remaining centres will reopen in the coming weeks. You can find detailed frequently asked questions on the resumption of the driver testing service and Covid-19 measures here.

If you are attending for a motorcycle test please note that you will have to bring an ear piece with you. Please see here for information on this. 

RSA Driving Test -Taking the Test During Covid-19

Driver Testing Services have now resumed and while the driving test itself has not changed, there are elements of the service that are now different. This is so that we can ensure the safety of our driver testers and our customers. To find out more, check out the video here.

Driver Theory Test (DTT)

The Driver Theory Test resumed its service on Monday 8 June 2020, you can find further information on Covid-19 measures and how to book a driver theory test here. See theorytest.ie to make a booking and for more details.

 

National Driver Licence Service (NDLS)

The National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) resumed services on Monday 8 June 2020.  You can find further information on the extensions of the expiry dates of driving licences and learner permits, Covid-19 measures and how to book an appointment here

Please see ndls.ie  to book an appointment and for all other information relating to the National Driver Licence Service.

 

National Car Testing Service (NCTS)

All NCT test centres are operational in line with HSE guidelines.

Only one person must present the vehicle for inspection and NCTS asks that vulnerable drivers and those with an underlying illness do not attend and that they organise for someone else to present their vehicle where possible. If they are unable to organise someone to bring the vehicle for testing, please make a member of staff aware of this at the time of booking so that additional provisions can be put in place when attending for test

Vehicle owners are remonded of the 4 month test extension. The National Car Testing Service (NCTS) has now updated all records for those customers’ vehicles that qualified for the 4 month test extension as announced by the Minister in April.

A vehicle with a test due date on or after 28th March 2020 has now had their test date extended by 4 months, see example below

Original NCT Expiry Date New NCT Test Due Date
28 March 2020 28 July 2020
10 May 2020 10 September 2020
15 October 2020* 15 February 2021

*Cars first registered on or after 1st August 2016 are not eligible for the 4 month extension

See here for frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and the resumption of the National Car Testing Service.

Please see here  for more information on the suspension of the NCTS.

 

Commercial Vehicle  Roadworthiness Testing (CVRT)

The Commercial Vehicle Testing System resumed service, since 18 May see here  for more details.  Vehicles with a test that was or will be due on or after 28 March have that test date extended by 3 months. Please see here for more information.

Commercial vehicle owners have the responsibility to ensure their vehicle(s) are maintained in a roadworthy condition when used on a public road. Further information on vehicle maintenance can be found here.

 

Enforcement Activities

Roadside activity by the RSA Enforcement team resumed on 6 July 2020 with the resumption of roadworthiness inspections by our Vehicle Inspectors on commercial vehicles. This was followed by the resumption of tachograph and licensing inspections by our Transport Officers on 27 July 2020.  Revised inspection protocols have been put in place to protect against the spread of Covid-19.

Roadworthiness operator premises inspections by AA  (our Technical Inspections Service Provider) resumed on 04/08/2020.
For more information on RSA Enforcement click here – https://www.cvrt.ie/en/Operator-Driver-Obligations/Pages/default.aspx

 

Drivers hours

The temporary derogation from certain rules concerning the driving and resting times for drivers of commercial vehicles will, as previously advised, expire on 31 May. From 1 June 2020, operators and drivers must comply with the normal rules applicable to driving and resting times for drivers of commercial vehicles. See here for more details

 

Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC)

Important notice for CPC Training Organisations, Trainers, Professional Drivers
As you are all aware, there was an extension put in place for drivers who had a Driver CPC card due to expire between 1st February and 31st August 2020 only, and for no other drivers; however, given the extraordinary circumstances of Covid-19, professional drivers who hold a valid Driver CPC card with a future expiry date will not be penalised if they do not complete their annual training by the 9th September 2020.  (The majority of drivers in this situation will have a CPC card with an expiry date of 9th Sept 2023 (bus) or 9th Sept 2024 (truck).   Drivers should endeavour to complete any outstanding CPC training by the 9th of September 2021.   

Please note that where a driver who qualified for the 1st February-31st August extension, did not complete their outstanding training within the seven months grace period, they no longer have an entitlement to Driver CPC.   For example if a CPC card expired on the 5th of February 2020, the grace period for completing outstanding CPC training ended on the 5th September 2020.

Due to the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 crisis, professional bus and truck drivers may encounter some difficulty in undertaking their annual CPC training at the current time.

Directive 2003/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council[1] lays down rules applicable to the initial qualification and periodic training of drivers of certain road vehicles for the carriage of goods or passengers. Those drivers must hold a certificate of professional competence and must prove they have completed the periodic training by holding a driving licence or a driver qualification card, on which the training is registered. Due to the difficulties in completing the periodic training and in renewing certificates of professional competence certifying that training as a consequence of the extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, which started as of 1 February 2020 in some Member States, it is necessary to extend the validity of those certificates for seven months after their expiry date, in order to ensure the continuity of road transport. This applies only to CPC Cards which are due for renewal between the 1st February and the 31st of August 2020.

It is important to note that no new or replacement cards will be issued with the new temporary expiry date.
 
Drivers will then be required to complete any outstanding periodic training.   On completion of the required training, renewal Driver CPC card’s will be issued as normal with an expiry date of 5 years from the date of expiry of their current Driver CPC card.

This is not an amnesty for drivers who did not take training and allowed their CPC cards to expire.

See here for more details.

Tachograph Card Applications

The RSA are continuing to process Tachograph card applications without any current delays. Our processing team are working remotely which may result in delays going forward, but we will endeavour to keep any delays to a minimum. To assist with this, it is vital that all applications for driver cards are correctly completed and all requested supporting documentation being supplied is in order. The RSA recommends that applicants use the on-line digital tachograph system apply here rather than the traditional paper-based application forms.


Education Services

The following RSA education services have been suspended until further notice

  • The Check it fits , see here for more information
  • The National Road Safety Education Service
  • The Interactive Road Safety Shuttle
  • Roll Over Simulator

Government measures to delay the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) may temporarily affect our services above. But, don’t worry as you can still use many of our interactive resources and technologies. Our team can also deliver engaging and interactive virtual road safety presentations where road safety education will continue to be our focus. Contact [email protected]  to talk about options.

Driving Lessons with Approved Driving Instructors

Please contact your approved driving instructor directly to enquire if there is any interruption to their service

The RSA cannot issue medical guidance to ADIs on COVID 19 and how they operate their businesses. As they are not RSA employees, ADIs should protect themselves, their families and communities by following the official Government guidelines on hygiene and social distancing.    As mostly sole traders each ADI has an individual responsibility for their own welfare and that of their families and customers. In essence the RSA can't dictate if an ADI can continue to trade.
While the RSA has taken the decision to suspend driving assessments, the continued provision of driver tuition can only be taken by the individual ADI taking into account their own personal circumstances.

RSA’s guidance on fitting Perspex panels or other physical barriers to the interior of a vehicle during the Covid19 pandemic

If you are considering fitting your vehicle with perspex panels or any other physical barriers during the Covid19 pandemic, you should contact the vehicle’s original manufacturer or authorised distributor. They are best placed to advise if there are any safety implications or if it is possible to carry out the proposed fitting without affecting the performance of the vehicle’s safety features, e.g. airbags etc. You must also ensure that such any installation does not present a danger to the driver, occupants or any other road user. It is important to remember that, under Irish road traffic regulations it is the responsibility of the owner and or driver to ensure that their vehicle is maintained in a roadworthy condition at all times when used in a public place.

Glazing for motor vehicles must meet with the requirements of UNECE Regulation 43 - Uniform provisions concerning the approval of safety glazing materials and their installation on vehicles. This Regulation sets out standards for safety glazing materials intended for installation as windscreens or other panes, or as partitioning. See extract below taken from this regulation regarding the general requirements for safety glazing;

General Requirements
6.1. All glazing materials, including glazing material for the manufacture of windscreens, shall be such that, in the event of shattering, the danger of bodily injury is reduced as far as possible. The glazing material shall be sufficiently resistant to the incidents likely to occur in normal traffic, and to atmospheric and temperature conditions, chemical action, combustion and abrasion.
6.2. Safety glazing materials shall in addition be sufficiently transparent, shall not cause any noticeable distortions of objects as seen through the windscreen, and shall not give rise to any confusion between the colours used in road-traffic signs and signals. In the event of the windscreen's shattering, the driver shall still be able to see the road clearly enough to be able to brake and stop his vehicle safely.

Please note the regular light transmittance in the case of a windscreen and other glazing that is located in a position requisite for driving visibility shall not be less than 70%.

It should be noted that if such panels or glazing is being fitted to a vehicle that is used for ‘hire and reward’ i.e. commercial purposes it is classed as a work place environment and will be governed by health and safety legislation. It may be useful to contact the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) for information on additional health and safety / legal obligations that arise on this issue. See here their webpage on Driving for Work and their contact details here

 

The RSA refers you to the HSE Coronavirus- COVID-19 Public Health Advice and Guidance as per the following link; https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/coronavirus.html

 

 

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