• Mandatory disqualification for dangerous driving
• Mandatory breath testing at accidents
• End the practice of early return for disqualified drivers
Fine Gael will this week publish a road safety Bill to impose harsher measures for dangerous driving and drink driving, and pave the way for the introduction of drug testing of motorists. The Bill will also ensure that injured parties are informed when a disqualified driver seeks to have their licence returned.
“Although random breath testing appears to have had some success in improving safety levels on the roads, much of our existing traffic legislation remains out of date, or is hampered by inadequate penalties. In particular, there is no specific or mandatory penalty for dangerous driving.
“This week Fine Gael is introducing the Road Traffic (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill in Private Members’ time in the Dáil. This Bill would provide a mandatory disqualification for dangerous driving, as well as a number of other measures.
“The Bill will:
• Create a mandatory disqualification for dangerous driving;
• Provide for mandatory breath testing of drivers at the scene of road accidents;
• Provide the Transport Minister with the power to regulate for drug testing;
• Index road traffic fines to inflation, to replace the current system whereby fines can only be increased by new legislation.
“The Bill will also ensure that injured parties or relatives are notified when a disqualified motorist seeks an early return of their licence. Under current legislation, a motorist who has been disqualified from driving can apply to have their licence returned half way through the penalty period. The Bill would impose the following restrictions on this mechanism:
• That a disqualified driver can only apply to have their licence returned in exceptional circumstances;
• That there would be an obligation to notify any parties injured by the disqualified motorist’s conduct, or a surviving relative, to inform them that a person is seeking the early return of their licence;
• That injured parties or relatives would be informed of the court’s verdict regarding the application.”