Minister for Transport: Leo Varadkar
Speeding, using a mobile phone and not wearing a seatbelt will see drivers occur increased penalty points under the new Road Traffic Bill 2013.
The new bill published today by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, will also legislate for roadside impairment tests for 'drug-driving'.
The Bill was drafted following consultation with the Oireachtas Transport Committee, in particular the changes to the penalty points system. It's hoped that the bill will enhance safety on Irish roads by also introducing the new roadside drug tests alongside increasing penalty points for driving offences.
Minister Varadkar appealed to Irish motorists to renew their safe driving habits following an increase in road fatalities so far this year.
“Last year saw the lowest number of deaths ever recorded on Irish roads, but the rise in fatalities so far this year is deeply worrying. The measures in this Bill will have a significant effect on road safety by targeting key areas, the Minister said.
He said that the publishing of the new bill will not only strengthen the penalty points system but will also reinforce the driver learning process.
Under the new bill all learner drivers will be labeled as 'novice' for the first two years of driving and will be required by law to display 'N' plates on their vehicle.
A new disqualification level of six penalty points for 'novice' drivers will be put in place. This is half the level of 12 points for all other drivers.
Learner drivers will also be expected to produce a record of accompanied driving experience (minimum to be agreed under regulations) in addition to 12 formal lessons with a registered, qualified instructor.
Minister Varadkar said his intention was to introduce this bill in the Oireachtas as quickly as possible.
As of today, 91 people have lost their lives on our roads in 2013, compared with 89 at the same time in 2012 and 88 in 2011.
My Purple Chair
The My Purple Chair title was born from my favourite place to sit and think about what's happening in the world. It's old but comfortable. So i suppose it's a bit like myself!