Some 20 driving school instructors staged a protest this morning in front the Ministry of Infrastructure, Port Services and Transport in Union over a shortage of driving examiners.
One of the instructor’s vehicle was parked on the main road leading to the ministry’s office. One of the instructors told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that the vehicle “could have broken down during a three-point turn exercise or could it be a protest action due to the insufficient number of driving examiners”.
Other instructors parked their vehicles in a long line outside the ministry’s offices.
A source from the ministry told SNO on condition of anonymity that given the current economic downturn and the government’s hiring-freeze stance, there is nothing much can be done at this time.
He said once the examiner on sick leave is back to work, a “greater effort” will be made to clear the backlog by increasing the number of tests done per week.
The shortage of practical driving test examiners have resulted in a backlog. It is reported that some students have been waiting for up to three months to do their driving tests.
The transport ministry currently employs two examiners for the north of the island and one for the south. However, an increase in the demand for driving tests and with one of the examiners being on sick leave, has compounded the problem.