The Road Administration (Maanteeamet) has decided to shorten practical driving tests by ten minutes in order to handle lengthy queues.
Tarmo Vanamõisa, head of the Road Administration's examinations department, told ERR's online news in Estonian that around 3,000 practical driving tests were canceled in the period between March and last week.
As of now, the Road Administration have administered a new test time to around 1,300 people who were supposed to do the test in March. Others should get a new test time in the next few weeks.
"Our point is to keep the lines from growing even longer and that people would have the chance to do the test even more quickly. We have proposed to shorten the practical part of the driving test for at least 180 days after the emergency situation ends," Vanamõisa explained.
The driving aspect of the category A and B driving test must last for at least 45 minutes under current rules. At first, the Road Administration wished to authorize 25-minute tests, which would have meant an extra 1100 tests administered in a month, but this did not suit the Police and Border Guard Board.
Ministry of the Interior Public Order and Criminal Policy Department Adviser Indrek Link told ERR that a 25-minute test might not be enough during heavy traffic. "Reducing the driving time by that much might lead to approving drivers, whose skills have not been controlled adequately," he said.
Link said that a middle ground has been found - the minimum duration of a driving test will be reduced by ten minutes. Tarmo Vanamõisa ascertained that 35 minutes is sufficient for an examinator to assess a persons driving skills.
Editor: Anders Nõmm