Driving tests are new to Ireland. Now the more challenging advanced motorist test aims to improve driving skills and safety.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists was established in Ireland with the objective of increasing road safety and improving the standard of driving.

An advanced motorist, according to the Institute here, should be the complete master of his car in every situation. He should have the aptitude for concentration demonstrated by constant care, intelligent anticipation and observation, and most important, an ever-present courtesy to the other road users.

In order to find these master drivers, the Institute has devised a test lasting two and a half hours covering almost sixty miles in all kinds of traffic conditions.

The Institute's examiner Neil Rickard is a retired Metropolitan Police officer with twenty-five years experience in traffic and more as a Ministry of Transport driving and traffic examiner in London. During the advanced driving test other than instructions there is no conversation.

Reporter Cathal O'Shannon takes a trial test with Neil through the streets of Dublin to find out exactly what's involved in the test. Mr Rickard outlines some of the basic mistakes drivers make and why they fail the test. Some of the main failings of many drivers include poor observation, cutting right-hand corners, breaking the speed limit, breaking traffic lights, and inadequate use of mirrors.

These people would be failed for any of these mistakes.

This advanced driving test is much more stringent than the test given to new drivers. As this test is not compulsory, Cathal O'Shannon asks why people take these tests. The normal driving test was introduced in Ireland in 1964 and many drivers now want to test their driving skills against an experienced examiner. There are advantages for drivers of having the advanced driving exam when it comes to the cost of car insurance.

This episode of 'Newsbeat' was broadcast on 21 November 1967. The reporter is Cathal O'Shannon.

‘Newsbeat’ was a half-hour feature programme presented by Frank Hall and ran for 7 years from September 1964 to June 1971. ‘Newsbeat’ went out from Monday to Friday on RTÉ television and reported on current affairs and issues of local interest from around Ireland. The final programme was broadcast on the 11 June 1971.