driving in Kenya

The unbearable burden of a driver’s license.

Driver’s licences are hard to get by in Ireland, we all know that. You have to pass your theory test, which should be OK, then take 12 lessons on a provisional license, mostly at 30 or 40€/hour, after that, and after 6 months, you can pass your practice test, and that one can be a serious headache.

It is only normal that you have to prove that you can drive, I fully agree with that,

But here is something I need people to think about. Driver’s licenses for refugees and IPAs.

Have you ever driven on a road in rural Africa, Asia, or South America? I haven’t, and I don’t think I would ever dare to. But most of the refugees who arrive here from these countries have, and did it for many years, and never had an accident.


They drive better than all of us, yet they have to pass a driver’s license calvary.

It is only normal to pass the theory test, but when it comes to the practice test, I honestly think it is useless, certainly for someone who has been driving for 10 years or more without damage in a developing country.

On top of that, it is expensive, and for some reason, the tests get failed far too often. I have my own thoughts about this, we are dealing with a private company that needs to make a profit, let’s just leave it at that.

Do you hold your hands at 10 and 2 o’clock all the time, do you turn far enough to look if a car is coming? Do you make sure to not drive too slow? Have you never driven too fast?  Even by 2 km over the limit?

Let’s face it, none of us drivers drive as they say you should during those tests, not even the examiners, I am sure. But they love failing people.

The consequences are horrible. I have been to a few court cases with someone and every time there is a refugee or IPA who either drove without insurance (because he was driving unaccompanied with an L, at the age of 50, and after driving in his own country for 20 years or more). This person always has children, lives in an area where a car is needed to go anywhere, and often is stopped while taking the children to school in the pouring rain, or driving his wife to a hospital appointment or an urgent visit to the pharmacy.

As a consequence, their driver’s license is taken from them, and they have to wait 6 months, one year, 2 years to drive again legally and be able to pass a test, and they try, but then their baby has a fever at night, or the school calls because a child is violently sick. and the gardaí follow and stop him.

It is a vicious circle, and it is time something is done about it.

I would love to have a discussion with the Road Safety Authority and teach them a bit about refugees. Clearly, they know very little.

Refugees are once again being infantilised, criminalised, for no other reason than their needing to get somewhere and actually knowing how to drive, how to fix a car, how to avoid accidents, much much better than any of us. What a dumb way as well of keeping people from work.  2 of the men I know in this situation are mechanical engineers for heaven’s sake!

And then, but that will come in another post, you have the gardaí finding it necessary to stop a man in a school car park, and then, in front of his 6-year-old daughter, her friends, and their parents, search him for drugs, search his car for drugs and find this normal? This girl will never forget what she saw that day, and her father will never forget the humiliation.

But, let’s talk about that another day.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *