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Home > Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017: Second Stage (Resumed) [Alcohol and driving].

[Oireachtas] Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017: Second Stage (Resumed) [Alcohol and driving]. (17 Jan 2018)

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Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy): Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire, an Teachta Ross.


Deputy Eamon Scanlon: When I spoke on this Bill before Christmas, I referred to the need for a sensible approach to road safety and suggested that roads like the N4, the N17, the N16 and the N15 might need to be upgraded. When I was driving on the national primary road that passes through Carrick-on-Shannon last Friday evening, 12 January, I was unable to move my car for an hour and 45 minutes because of an accident on the Boyle side of the bridge. There was chaos in the town because traffic on the N4 was backed up on the main Dublin to Sligo road for 5 km or 6 km. We need to start looking seriously at these roads. Luckily and thankfully, nobody was killed. It is outrageous that these delays are happening fairly often because of the extra traffic on the road.


When I spoke previously, I outlined the Fianna Fáil proposal to increase the number of penalty points from three to five and to increase to €500 the fine for drivers caught with blood alcohol levels of between 50 mg and 80 mg. A number of people were angered by an aspect of my comments during the debate. I appreciate from where they are coming. My comments were designed to be constructive. Based on the feedback to me and to my office, I am of the view that they reflect the views of a silent majority of those who live in our rural communities. We need to be absolutely clear that drunk drivers can cause immense loss and suffering. Drink-driving should never be condoned.


Young drivers in rural Ireland are being ripped off by faceless insurance companies. This problem needs to be looked at as well. People living in rural areas have to buy cars so they can get to work. It is very unfair that a young person who buys a car for €1,000 might have to pay €4,000 for insurance. These people should be looked after.


If we are serious about tackling the problems on our roads, we should roll out a major capital investment programme for the upgrading of our national primary and secondary routes. Sligo and Leitrim county councils have been starved of money in recent years. Part of the problem of people being killed on our roads is that many roads are not of a sufficient quality or standard. An examination of this country's road network will reveal that south of a line between Dublin and Galway, there are motorways from Dublin to Cork, Limerick and Waterford but that north of the line in question there is a road from Mullingar to Sligo which has been there for the past 100 years…..


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Item Type
Dail Debates
Publication Type
Drug Type
Intervention Type
Crime prevention, Screening / Assessment, Policy
17 January 2018

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