Thursday, April 23, 2009


First it was the provisional driving licences and now it seems to the be new penalty points for having no NCT cert - has Transport Minister Noel Dempsey any idea at all of what is going on in the outside world?

Just when we had almost forgiven him for trying to criminalise thousands of provisional driving licence holders with the stroke of a pen, it seems that Noel ‘D’oh’ Dempsey has pulled another crazy stunt.

Just last week, he announced that drivers are to receive five penalty points if the failed aspects of their NCT are not fixed within a month.

Fair enough, nobody wants faulty cars on the roads. But the Minister failed to do his homework and think about it before shooting his mouth off for a bit of free publicity.

You seen, it seems that drivers - eager to comply with the letter of the law - cannot actually book their tests.

Fine Gael’s Jimmy Deenihan said that the website for booking the NCT - - has crashed meaning that drivers cannot book online.

And he said the call centre set up to handle telephone bookings is so overloaded that callers are left holding for hours, often with nobody answering the call.

On Monday, Deputy Deenihan spent hours trying to get through to the number only to be kept on hold with, ultimately, nobody answering at the other end.

“Thousands of drivers are being left in the lurch by this latest screw up by the Government. It didn’t take a brain surgeon to work out that putting in place the latest penalty pouints offences would have led to an increase in the numbers applying for the NCT,” he said.

“Instead, as is the way with this Government, zero planning was put into catering for the increase in demand with the result being that drivers cannot book tests.”

Zero planning - is this becoming a hallmark of this Government?

Zero planning for Ministerial pensions for sitting TDs? Zero planning for discontinuing long service increments? I see a pattern emerging here.

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