Cyprus Mail

Limassol driving examiners protest against understaffing

File photo

Limassol driving examiners gathered for two hours outside the road transport department offices on Friday to protest over the lack of staff.

In statements outside the offices, the head of the Limassol association of driving school owners Simos Koufallis said the patience of the candidates was exhausted because due to the understaffing they have to wait for up to five months to take a test.

He reiterated the danger that learner drivers are increasingly tempted to drive illegally.

“When a young driver has 25-30 hours of training and does not succeed in the first test, he usually chooses to ride without licence and insurance until the next appointment comes up,” he said.

Over the past ten years, 11 examiners have left the road transport department, culminating in 2018 when three of them retired within three months.

Though two examiners were recently seconded from Paphos to Limassol after a letter was sent to the transport ministry on February 11, a severe shortage of examiners remains as there are still only four examiners in Limassol, who cannot cope with the demand.

Koufallis added that the problem was bound to escalate in early summer when applications would almost double due to students returning from abroad, and graduating pupils.

Commenting on an announcement from the road transport department which said additional examination dates would be added for the month of April in Limassol, Koufallis said the announcement was issued after the protest was declared and there was no way it could solve the problem permanently.

The issue, he added, would be discussed at a meeting scheduled on April 4 with the transport minister.

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