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06-09-2011, 10:17   #1
BenEadir
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Help me explain that you can't drive unaccompanied on a provisional license.

Hi all,

I was debating with my country in laws the issue of how a blind eye seems to be turned to learner drivers down the country who drive unaccompanied. I was insisting that unaccompanied learner drivers should be prosecuted (and fined up to €1,000 per offence) but I got the same old arguments i.e. "it's not practical when we live X miles from anywhere" or "sure I'm only doing the school run and not harming anyone" and similar.

Unfortunately I hadn't boned up on what if any other punishments can be levied on unaccompanied learner drivers if they are stopped and prosecuted. Can someone here with actual knowledge of the relevant law (maybe a Garda, driving instructor or solicitor) spell out the potential punishments if a learner driver is caught driving unaccompanied other than a fine of up to €1,000? Can they have points added to their license? Have their license revoked? Be put off the road for X months/years?

Also, what's the story with their insurance? Assuming they have standard 3rd party insurance in their own name or are driving "Mammy's car" as a named driver is their insurance completely invalid if they drive unaccompanied? What happens if an unaccompanied learner has an accident? Is the damage to the other persons car not covered by the learner drivers insurance? What if there is a juvenile passenger in the learner drivers car (say a 12 year old brother/sister) and they are injured, would their injuries not by covered by the learner drivers insurance because there wasn't a licensed driver in the car accompanying the learner driver?

I'm heading back down to see the out/inlaws at the weekend and want to be fully prepared this time so please please please enlighten me on the subject

Ben
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06-09-2011, 11:21   #2
 
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Last edited by Permabear; 06-09-2011 at 14:29.
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06-09-2011, 12:32   #3
matt70iu
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Well said! Drink driving is no longer tolerated by the masses. It's only a matter of time before driving unaccompanied comes under the same umbrella.

Road safety is something we are starting to take seriously as a nation. Accident statistics show we are now the 6th safest nation in Europe in terms of road mortality rates. This came from a position of over 20th less than a decade ago.

Go On Ireland!!
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07-09-2011, 01:31   #4
Dartz
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There's a more practical reason:

Your first time in a car, your first time driving, what where you thinking?

You were giving all your attention over to the mechanics of actually operating the car. Do I clutch? Do I shift gears? How do I stop? when do I indicate? You might think to try look around you, but then you're looking down at the gearstick, or confirming which control you're using is the right one you're not looking at the road.

That's one thing the accompanying driver is doing. They're paying attention to what's going on around you so if you don't spot something because you're busy having a mental overload just trying to coordinate gearstick, throttle, brake and clutch while you navigate these nefariously arcane constructs known as roundabouts.... they can yell STOP!

Oh... and they can also make sure you're doing things the right way...
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07-09-2011, 10:22   #5
jhegarty
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I think it would be a far easier sell if the RSA would release the stats proving this (one way or another).
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07-09-2011, 10:25   #6
 
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Attitudes change. A decade ago driving after a few pints was acceptable. Well if not acceptable it was the done thing for many

In a decade we'll look back at this unaccompanied driver issue and wonder how it went on for so long

Give it time OP
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07-09-2011, 10:28   #7
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Also, I've been told that the FIRST time you're charged without a licensed driver accompanying you, you can receive a €1000 fine. The SECOND time, you can actually receive jail time.
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07-09-2011, 10:28   #8
 
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07-09-2011, 10:44   #9
ThunderZtorm
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Originally Posted by Dartz View Post
There's a more practical reason:

Your first time in a car, your first time driving, what where you thinking?

You were giving all your attention over to the mechanics of actually operating the car. Do I clutch? Do I shift gears? How do I stop? when do I indicate? You might think to try look around you, but then you're looking down at the gearstick, or confirming which control you're using is the right one you're not looking at the road.

That's one thing the accompanying driver is doing. They're paying attention to what's going on around you so if you don't spot something because you're busy having a mental overload just trying to coordinate gearstick, throttle, brake and clutch while you navigate these nefariously arcane constructs known as roundabouts.... they can yell STOP!

Oh... and they can also make sure you're doing things the right way...

It's one thing to drive alone when you're completely new. Now, in my case, I've been driving in my own car for several months already, taken 15 lessons, driven a couple of long trips, driven at night, in rain, in Dublin city centre, on large N-roads etc.

I have no problems controlling my car without really thinking about it, changing gears, braking, clutch control, reversing, parking, overtaking, keeping safe distance, observing and so forth. All of this happens more or less automatically by now.

I have never driven without somebody there, and don't plan to, but I do feel quite capable of doing so due to the experience I already have, so I do understand why somebody would be doing it.


Coming from Denmark where we don't have the learner permit system, we just have 12-18 driving lessons and you're done, got a license, go into traffic, I feel extremely experienced compared to if I had taken a license in Denmark..

Last edited by ThunderZtorm; 07-09-2011 at 10:46.
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07-09-2011, 22:32   #10
overshoot
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if only it was as simple as;
well if your good enough to drive on your own your good enough to pass your test, the waiting list isnt that long anymore and you will make the cost of the test back on your insurance discount
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08-09-2011, 08:36   #11
ThunderZtorm
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if only it was as simple as;
well if your good enough to drive on your own your good enough to pass your test, the waiting list isnt that long anymore and you will make the cost of the test back on your insurance discount
Indeed - my test's scheduled for the end of September
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08-09-2011, 11:12   #12
munchkin_utd
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all online RSA and citizens advice and newspaper articles at the time states a minimum of 1000 fine for driving unaccompanied.

The road traffic act, aka that impenetrable wedge of legalese that we are supposed to follow yet not be able to read, has no mention anywhere of a fine with a minimum of a certain amount.
Only maximum fines are mentioned.

see here for a chaotic mess of text that which is supposed to keep law and order on the roads:
http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2006/...023/print.html
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