Home > Minister Ross proposes stricter alcohol and drug provisions for train drivers.

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. [Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport] Minister Ross proposes stricter alcohol and drug provisions for train drivers. (22 May 2018)

External website: http://www.dttas.ie/press-releases/2018/minister-r...

“We have to ensure that the highest standards of safety apply on Irish railways” said Minister Shane Ross when he brought a draft General Scheme to Cabinet today to amend the Railway Safety Act 2005 to put stricter drug and alcohol provisions in place for train drivers and other railway safety critical workers. 


When the Railway Safety Act was adopted in 2005, blood alcohol limits for train drivers were the same as those applying to motorists on the road. Following changes to Road Traffic legislation since, the statutory alcohol limits applying for professional drivers, like taxi, bus or HGV drivers, have been lowered. Train drivers are currently permitted to have four times more alcohol in their system than the equivalent professional road driver.


Minister Ross stated: “I am delighted that Government has approved today my proposals for a General Scheme to amend the Railway Safety Act 2005. This will bring a new consistency in safety standards set down for train drivers and equivalent professional drivers on the road and will underline again the importance of being fully alert and vigilant when taking responsibility for the safety of passengers.”


As well as updating the statutory limits in relation to alcohol, new provisions for analysis of the concentration level of drugs like cocaine and heroin will be put in place for railway safety workers under the amendment. The General Scheme will also ensure that school bus services provided commercially will be subject to regulatory oversight by the National Transport Authority.

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