Learner drivers who had their Practical Driving Assessments (PDAs) cancelled due to COVID-19 are now having their tests rebooked as the state’s restrictions start to ease.
Last month, Skeer Media reported about 6,500 non-essential learner drivers faced uncertainty as assessments were cancelled across Western Australia amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while all available tests were prioritised for essential workers such as emergency services employees.
As of Tuesday, The Department of Transport (DoT) will start contacting learners that had their PDA cancelled, and ensure they are given priority before any public tests commence.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said Learner drivers should wait to be contacted by the department and thanked everyone for their patience.
“We’ve hired an additional 45 people to help clear the backlog, and we’ll be working very hard to return the system back to normal,” The Transport Minister said.
“We hope to have contacted and rebooked all those who had their test cancelled by late June and ask that you wait to be contacted by someone from DoT.
“The community should be proud of the success we have seen in controlling the spread of COVID-19 – a result of us all working together.”
The Department outlined steps to get Practical Driving Assessments back to normal through the following stages:
- Starting now: Cancelled tests to be rebooked;
- By the end of June: Online bookings for PDAs to reopen;
- By the end of July: Backlog of cancelled PDAs expected to be cleared;
- December: Recovery of PDA demand to pre-pandemic levels expected.
To help cater for the additional demand, the Department of Transport will temporarily reopen its Welshpool Examination Centre as a PDA-only location operating seven days a week, with extended opening hours.
The Department expects the online PDA booking system to become available by late June when all cancelled PDAs have been rebooked.
More than 44 new positions, including driving assessors, have been created to manage the additional tests, with assessors continuing to apply safe health practices during driving.
For the latest information on PDAs visit www.transport.wa.gov.au