Minister for Transport Shane Ross has confirmed that the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS), the National Car Testing Service (NCT), as well as the Commercial Vehicle Testing System are suspended until further notice with immediate effect.
Minister Ross has asked his officials together with the RSA to introduce measures to address the implications of suspending these services.
“I have asked my officials to immediately engage with the RSA to introduce measures that will address issues arising from the suspension of these services. It is critical that we give drivers as well as operators of commercial vehicles peace of mind in relation to the status of their licence, learner permit, NCT certificate or certificate of roadworthiness, especially if it has expired or is likely to expire during the period of the Covid-19 health crisis,” Mr Ross said.
He added that his team is looking at introducing measures that will extend the period of validity of official documents and hope to provide further detail for the public next week.
“In the meantime, I want to make it absolutely clear that people should not and do not need to worry about these things. Everyone must now focus on abiding by the measures that were introduced by the Government from midnight last night in order to keep yourself, your family and your community safe from the spread of the coronavirus.
“At the same time, we must also be conscious of the need to save lives on the roads and, indeed, avoid diverting medical staff to deal with the consequences of drivers not driving safely. Road Safety laws remain in force and will be enforced. Drivers must not speed or drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and they must keep their vehicles roadworthy – for their own sakes and all our sakes. ”
‘Special place in hell for people price gauging’
Earlier on Saturday, Health Minister Simon Harris said “there is a special place in hell” for people price gauging and profiteering from the coronavirus crisis.
Harris said there is a “health rationale” for the restrictions on movement introduced to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The minister appealed to the public to adhere to the public health measures only allowing people to leave their homes to buy food, medicines or to take in brief exercise within 2km of where they live.
When asked about reports of price hikes to essential medical equipment such as ventilators to treat Covid-19, the minister reacted angrily.
“I think the European Commission and Ireland will have to keep a very close eye on that,” he said.
“Anybody who seeks to extort additional money out of people, there is a special place in hell for them. In the middle of a global pandemic, when we are trying to keep our people alive and breathing, anybody who sees this as an opportunity to make a quick buck, not in an innovative sense but in an exploitative sense, we’ll remember them. We will all remember them in this country.
“We are going to support the people in this country when it gets back on its feet who are good to our country and put public health first. The responsible business owners, the responsible business owners, the decent people who said ‘this is going to be very tough for my business, this is going to put us under pressure but the health of my workforce and fellow people in this country matters more than that.”
From The Irish Independent.