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Windows closed Ireland’s new online driver theory test may require purchase of new computer

The state’s new driver online theory test may require most applicants to buy a new computer, given the narrow restrictions on computer compatibility.

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The RSA’s new online driver theory test requires a Windows computer, a system used by a minority of Irish households.

The RSA’s new online driver theory test requires a Windows computer, a system used by a minority of Irish households.

The RSA’s new online driver theory test requires a Windows computer, a system used by a minority of Irish households.

The Road Safety Authority is facing criticism after introducing a new online driver theory test that may require many people to buy a new computer.

The safety body has opted to restrict the test only to Windows computers, which now make up just a quarter of computer usage in Irish homes.

The rules also specify that people taking the test must exclusively use Google Chrome.

The new system is being rolled out in a pilot phase. It is currently aimed at professional drivers, as well as bus and truck drivers.

“You must use a Windows (8 or above) laptop or desktop computer,” the RSA warns about its new online theory test. “You cannot use your phone, tablet, Mac or Windows 7.”

The latest figures from Statcounter show that Windows computers make up 24pc of what Irish people now use, with tablets, large-screen smartphones, Mac computers and Chromebooks now making up three quarters of the online user base.

New Windows computers typically start at around €350.

However, the restrictive design will raise questions about accessibility for less well off driver theory test applicants.

It will also beg questions about why the test is reserved for Windows when the software company behind the system supports other computer systems, such as Apple Macs.

A spokesman for the Road Safety Authority was not immediately available to comment.

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