Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Select Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport
Road Traffic Bill 2016 (Seanad): Committee Stage
Apologies have been received from Deputy Troy. Deputy Lahart will move Deputy Troy's amendments. This meeting has been convened for the purposes of consideration by the committee of the Road Traffic Bill 2016 (Seanad) which was referred to the Select Committee by order of the Dáil 28 September 2016. I welcome the Minster for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Shane Ross and his officials. Before we begin I ask that members and anyone in the Visitors Gallery to switch off their phones or put them on flight mode as they can interfere with the broadcasting equipment. We will now proceed to consideration of the Bill. I invite the Minister to begin.
I move amendment No. 1:
In page 5, to delete lines 16 and 17 and substitute the following:“(3) The collective citation “The Road Traffic Acts 1961 to 2016” includes this Act and Part 5 of the Vehicle Clamping Act 2015.”.
The change being proposed to this citation of the Road Traffic Act is technical but necessary. The Bill currently says that the Road Traffic Act 1961 to 2014 and the current Bill shall be cited collectively as the Road Traffic Acts 1961 to 2016. It has since been drawn to my attention, however, that there is a collective citation in the Vehicle Clamping Act 2015 according to which Part 5 of that Act and the Road Traffic Acts 1961 to 2014 are to be cited as the Road Traffic Acts 1961 to 2015. This was missed earlier this year when the Public Transport Act 2016 cited the Road Traffic Acts 1961 to 2014 in section 8 of the Public Transport Act as the Road Traffic Acts 1961 to 2016. This creates an issue around whether the collective citation has unintentionally dropped from within its ambit Part 5 of the Vehicle Clamping Act. I have taken legal advice on this technicality and the proposed wording will ensure that nothing in the collective citation is lost.
I move amendment No. 2:
In page 5, between lines 21 and 22, to insert the following:“PART 2
REGISTER OF WRITTEN-OFF VEHICLESDefinition - Part 1
3. In this Part “vehicle insurer” has the meaning assigned to it in section 58 of the Road Traffic Act 1961.”.
The issue of what to do about written-off vehicles has been talked about for a very long time. It has been raised repeatedly as a matter that might be included in successive road traffic Bills. In the end it has always been deferred. When I became the Minister for Transport. Tourism and Sport the current Bill had already been passed by the Seanad and it was restored to the Order Paper for the Dáil after the election. I decided that this time around written-off vehicles should not be left as the also-ran issue of road traffic law. I decided to introduce an amendment to the Bill to address, for the first time on a statutory basis, the question of written off vehicles in Ireland. I shall begin by speaking on how things stand currently. Under existing voluntary arrangements some vehicle insurers submit notification details regarding total vehicle right offs to my Department's national vehicle and driver file, NVDF. On receiving these details, records relating to such vehicles are locked down on the NVDF so that no further transactions can be recorded against them. This means there can be no renewal of motor tax or change of ownership for the vehicle. The locked down status of these vehicles can be altered only if the NVDF receives confirmation from the insurance company involved in the original notification that an incorrect vehicle right-off categorisation had been relayed to the NVDF.
There has long been agreement that this approach - being as it is entirely voluntary - is not satisfactory. The current road safety strategy includes a commitment that the Road Safety Authority, RSA, would carry out a consultation on the matter for the good of developing policy to legislate to ensure that unsafe, written-off vehicles are taken out of circulation. The RSA completed this consultation. While the RSA proposals have merit they are also highly complex and would take a great deal of time and cost to implement. They would also require a great deal of additional time and consideration to work out fully. I decided that we could not let the matter wait any longer.
I, therefore, decided to address this matter now in a way which will work and which will have practical benefits. I am not precluding further developments in future, but I am determined that we should lay the groundwork now by taking real action on this question.
I am proposing to place the current voluntary arrangements between the insurance industry and my Department on domestic write-offs on a statutory footing. All insurers will be statutorily required to notify my Department of category A, irreparable and fit for scrap only, and category B, useful for viable spare parts only write-offs, so that these vehicles' records can be locked down on the NDVF and their circulation within the national fleet prevented. It is not necessary to cater for category C and D write-offs as these vehicles are capable of being repaired and returned to use on the public road.
I know many people would like to take this further as I also would. I considered and I am still considering additional measures, for example, to do with imported vehicles. However, this is very complex and if I had gone down this road, it would have led to the inevitable and unacceptable result that yet again a road traffic Bill would have been passed without any measures to address written-off vehicles.
Relevant legislation is already in place in both road traffic and consumer law dealing with written-off vehicles. It is currently an offence to drive a dangerously defective vehicle in a public place under road traffic legislation while under the Consumer Protection Act 2007, car dealers are obliged to give full disclosure of the history of second-hand vehicle to potential buyers. Under the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980, a vehicle being sold should be free from any defect that would render it a danger to the public.
I know Deputy Munster wants to address her own amendment on written-off vehicles. I am glad to see that we are both on the same page with respect to this important issue. I believe her amendment has great merit, but it is covered by the amendments we have proposed.
I tabled amendment No. 34. The Minister has included pretty much all I had intended to do. The details are on the national vehicle and driver file. The Minister said he would not have been able to put this forward for this Bill had he dealt with the imports. Will he continue to investigate finding a way to deal with vehicles imported and sold here when they have already been written off in another jurisdiction?
I am delighted the Deputy asked that question. Shortly after I came into office I saw a "Prime Time" programme that dealt with the importation of written-off vehicles. We do not know the extent of it but it was quite alarming. I am determined to deal with it and I asked my officials to look at that. It is very complex. We are still looking at it and we are consulting the Attorney General. We will pursue the problem. We do not have all the data and we are not quite sure how far it goes or how extensive the problem is. We could have something prepared in a few months, but we do not want to delay the legislation specifically for that. I just want to go ahead with tackling the issue of written-off vehicles now with the commitment that we are pursuing this.
We could almost have a road traffic Bill every week because there are ongoing problems every week that we want to address. At some stage we have to say we will go ahead, but we are certainly addressing that problem. We are about half way there. We have opened up the problem, but to address the imported ones will take a little longer.
I move amendment No. 3:
In page 5, between lines 21 and 22, to insert the following:"Vehicle insurer obligations
4. (1) A vehicle insurer, who as a result of an inspection of a mechanically propelled vehicle determines that such vehicle is defective to the extent that it is—
(a) when in motion, a danger to the public, and
(b) beyond repair,
shall notify the Minister in accordance with subsection (2) within 5 working days of such inspection.
(2) When an insurer notifies the Minister under subsection (1) it shall also notify the Minister whether, based on the inspection of the vehicle, it is suitable for the salvaging of viable automotive parts.
(3) A notification under this section shall be dated and shall include the following:
(a) the registration number (if any) of the vehicle;
(b) the make, model and body type of the vehicle;
(c) the VIN, or vehicle identification number, of the vehicle, that is to say, the fixed combination of characters assigned to the vehicle by a manufacturer or its authorised distributor for vehicle identification purposes which is marked on the chassis, frame or other similar structure of the vehicle;
(d) the date on which the vehicle was inspected by, or on behalf of, the vehicle insurer,
(e) if the defect in the vehicle was the result of an event involving the vehicle which occurred in a public place, the date of that event and, if any insurance claim arose in relation to the vehicle's involvement, the insurance company's claim number in respect of that claim.
(4) The Minister may make regulations prescribing the manner in which a notification under subsection (2) shall be made including, in particular, whether it is to be made electronically or in hard-copy.".
I move amendment No. 4:
In page 5, between lines 21 and 22, to insert the following:"Offence of failure to notify
5. (1) A vehicle insurer who fails to notify the Minister in accordance with section 4* or who notifies information to the Minister knowing it to be false or misleading commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a class A fine.
(2) Where an offence under this section is committed by a body corporate and is proven to have been so committed with the consent, connivance or approval of, or to have been attributable to the wilful neglect on the part of, any person, being a director, manager, secretary or other officer of the body corporate or a person who was purporting to act in any such capacity, that person, as well as the body corporate, commits an offence and is liable to be proceeded against and punished as if he or she were guilty of the first-mentioned offence.
(3) Where the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members, subsection (2) applies in relation to the acts and defaults of a member in connection with his or her functions of management as if he or she were a director or manager of the body corporate.".
I move amendment No. 5:
In page 5, between lines 21 and 22, to insert the following:"Publication of information provided by vehicle insurers
6. (1) The Minister may maintain records of information notified to him or her under section 4* and may, after consultation with any other person or body that the Minister considers appropriate, for the purposes of increasing road safety, publish or share a part or all of such records.
(2) The Minister may make regulations prescribing the manner in which records shall be published or shared under this section and, in particular, prescribing fees to cover the administrative cost of such publication or sharing.".
I move amendment No. 7:
In page 6, line 29, after "it" to insert "and where the drug has not impaired the person's driving ability".
This is a technical amendment to clarify that a person with a medical exemption certificate will not be permitted to operate if he or she is impaired by the drug.
I appreciate the point of the Deputy's proposed amendment. It is superfluous because the new provisions I am proposing apply to limits exactly as do the existing ones for alcohol. If a person is actually impaired as a result of intoxicants, he or she will continue to be liable to prosecution under the existing provisions of the 2010 Act which make it an offence to drive or be in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant to such an extent as to be incapable of controlling the vehicle. The medical certificate of exemption created in the Bill only applies to the new offence of the presence of cannabis or cannabis acid and not to the existing offence under the 2010 Act.
I believe there is logic behind it. I would like to press it. When we come to my amendment No. 9, I think it is very restrictive in what it identifies. It is worthy of having people who are impaired while on prescription drugs included.
I move amendment No. 8:
In page 7, between lines 6 and 7, to insert the following:“(1C) Subsection (1A) does not apply to a person in respect of a drug specified at reference number 6 in column (1) of the Schedule where the person is the holder of a medical exemption certificate which indicates that at the time at which that drug was found to be present in his or her blood it had been lawfully prescribed for him or her and which is signed by the doctor who prescribed it.
(1D) The Minister will, upon commencement of this Act, in conjunction with the Garda Commissioner, make regulations specifying the minimum Levels (units in whole blood) in respect of each drug specified at reference number 6 in column (1) of the Schedule.”.”.
I welcome the proposal as it is long overdue. Unfortunately, driver impairment through alcohol and drug misuse is still a large contributory factor in road traffic accidents. The list, however, of banned substances in sections 4(1A) and 5(1A) is very limited in that it only lists the main illegal drugs, namely, cannabis, cocaine and heroin. Based on current national and international prevalence data, the drugs to be targeted initially in this Bill are cannabis, cocaine, opiates and benzodiazepines. However, the Medical Bureau of Road Safety, MBRS, study, on whose recommendations this Bill is based, is heavily reliant on a 16 year-old study, Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in Ireland, Results of a Nationwide Survey 2000-2001. In particular, the study indicated that cannabis and benzodiazepines were the most prevalent drug in driving under the influence of drug cases, followed by opiates, methadone and cocaine.
While it might be the case that these drugs remain the most widely used in Ireland, it is also the case that over the past 16 years, drug use in Ireland, as elsewhere, has evolved significantly. In particular, the use of psychoactive drugs has become more prevalent in that period. According to the EU drug markets report 2016, Irish people are the largest users of illegal psychoactive drugs in the EU. According to the survey of people aged 15 to 24 on the highest levels of use in the past year, Ireland was at 9%, Spain and France were at 8% and Slovenia was at 7%.
Eight psychoactive substances are not included in the Schedule of banned substances in this Bill. Another limitation of the Bill is that it ignores the possible misuse of legal prescription drugs which can be worse than alcohol for impaired driving. In particular, the misuse of prescription benzodiazepines, such as Valium and Xanax, has increased significantly over the past 15 years with numbers of people seeking treatment for addiction to benzodiazepines has more than doubled since 2009, according to the Health Service Executive. While benzodiazepines are often prescribed as sedatives for use in the treatment of anxiety disorders and insomnia, they have become increasingly common as recreational drugs. Recent statistics show that benzodiazepines were the main problem drug of 547 people who sought treatment for substance abuse in 2012.
While it is recognised that the Bill cannot take a zero-tolerance approach to individuals driving after having consumed such prescription drugs, any provision which caught drivers abusing these drugs would strengthen the Bill significantly. At the very least, there is a need for a parallel health education initiative to go with this Bill, especially to inform drivers of the dangers of driving while taking prescribed medications. Last year in the transport committee, Professor Denis Cusack of the MBRS called for as much. A parallel health education initiative is needed to encourage and support drivers with medical conditions to take their prescribed medications in accordance with health care advices and medical fitness to drive guidelines.
These are ambitious but understandable amendments. The approach the Department has taken with regard to the list of specified drugs is one that has been discussed in great detail with the MBRS. This Bill, in addressing drug driving, is not based on the MBRS report referred to by the Deputy but on more recent experience of the bureau on testing specimens for drugs and best international practice. I have also consulted with the bureau in light of the proposed amendments to expand the list of drugs. While I appreciate the motivation for these amendments, the bureau's advice is very much against extending the list at present.
There are many complications. One of the risks is of mixing together drug intoxication and road safety matters with misuse of drugs provisions. British legislation in this regard, similar to that proposed in the amendments, approaches the matter from a different angle. The Road Safety Strategy action No. 77 relating to drug levels states "legislate for the introduction of zero tolerance approach to illicit drug driving and impairment approach for other drugs." This continues to be the basis for the new driving under the influence of drugs provisions.
The drugs included in the current Schedule are the most prevalent illicit drugs, namely, cannabis, heroin and cocaine. The proposition of including specified limits referred to in the literature as per selevels for all the drugs in the misuse of drugs legislation would be novel when compared to other jurisdictions. Even the UK has not gone this far. The common approach is to select drugs known to be used by drivers, based on prevalence data. Setting levels for all drugs is not practical for many reasons. These include the lack of data proving impairment, selecting appropriate levels and the fact not all drugs in the misuse of drugs legislation are a concern in driving under the influence.
The Schedule taken from British law with the proposed limits for drugs such as benzodiazepines sets the legal levels at super therapeutic levels so as not to capture people on prescribed medications, taking medications on prescription, with the difficulty being the biovariation between individuals on such medications. Drivers with significantly lower levels than these could be seriously impaired. Although the old impairment offence remains, it could be argued they are driving under the legal limit for the drug and thus should not be prosecuted. This would be an unforeseen consequence of such a change and contrary to road safety.
The proposal of including the table, which appears to be a copy of the section 5A annex of the England and Wales legislation, does not fit with the road safety strategy action either. I note the proposed THC, tetrahydrocannabinol, level is higher than that in the current text of the Bill. On the other hand, the proposed amendment would exclude cannabis acid which should be there if we are to make serious limits for that drug. The MBRS has advised that the other illicit drugs proposed for inclusion in the amendment, ketamine, LSD, MDMA, and amphetamines, are not, in the bureau's view, significantly prevalent in Irish drivers. The remaining drugs proposed, Nos. 10 to 17, inclusive, are all benzodiazepines, except No. 14, methadone, and are not illicit drugs although may be misused. These are again covered by existing measures combined with impairment.
The bureau is committed to continue to monitor changing societal drug use. The results, over time, may lead to adding to the drugs to be tested, which in time may be reflected in future legislation. As a general comment, the Department did not consider it possible to set limits for certain classes of drugs which were not illicit, given the difficulty of deciding on levels at which people might be impaired, but would depend on the person's use, level of medication, length of time on medication, weight, mass, gender, etc. The setting of limits for drugs is in the early stages of acceptance in the scientific and legal communities. As this Bill works, we should consider expanding the number of levels and categories. While the expansion of illicit drugs specified will be considered over time, it was considered best to begin with a small number of the most common illicit drugs in the first instance.
I appreciate where the Minister is coming from. I served on the southern regional drugs task force in recent years. Cocaine, cannabis and other inhibitors are very prevalent in the south-west region. What the Minister is suggesting will create mayhem for gardaí in Garda stations. Gardaí will know if people have taken drugs but will not necessarily know what drug they have taken so they will have to bring them all into the station. There will be queues of people at Garda stations waiting to be tested for drugs because the list is phenomenally long.
In the context of modern methods of testing for drink driving, the person who has had three pints of Guinness is worse off than someone who has taken drugs. There are some drugs that one is allowed to take and then to drive. In terms of a test for safe limits of alcohol, the Minister is saying that those who drink three pints are safer drivers than those who have had three drops of whiskey. A person can be prosecuted for taking cannabis, heroin and some other substances but there are other drugs being taken for social purposes which will be excluded. The Minister must revisit the list.
I accept the Deputy's point but it is very difficult to make these comparisons. It is very hard and I understand what the Deputy is saying. For all other drugs, the position remains that the presence of a drug plus intoxication to the extent of being unable to control the vehicle is an offence already. Under the existing impairment offence section of the 2010 Act, section 5, the Medical Bureau of Road Safety, MBRS, tests for seven different classes of drugs, including opiates, cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines and others. It is very difficult at this stage to say exactly what the levels will be but what we are doing, unashamedly, is starting with the ones which we actually know are the most common drugs. We will look at how that works over the next few months or years and then consider other drugs.
The Minister has just said that this is the first phase of rolling out the testing for drugs. He has recognised that there is a growing list of drugs that need to be on the test schedule and that these will be included at some stage in the future.
I can guarantee that the drugs on the list produced by the Deputies, as well as other substances, will be considered. This is under constant surveillance but we know from the MBRS that these three are the most commonly used drugs and in that context, the testing for them will be the easiest to implement. If that works, we will extend the list. We are quite prepared to look at that. In fact, we are looking at it at the moment. In the interests of getting this Bill through, we want to go ahead with the ones we have. We do not want to continuously, month by month, add drugs to the list, one by one. That would just make it totally impractical. We will certainly look at it and we are considering extending the list but we want to go ahead with these three now. This is urgent. I do not want to say anything to alarm people but it is very urgent that we get this particular Bill through because of the number of deaths on the road. As everyone here knows, the numbers are increasing by 20% per annum. We want to include drugs, specifically. That is one of the main tenets of this Bill but we do not want to continuously delay this legislation because we are adding on bits and pieces here, there and everywhere which may be beneficial. I guarantee that we will be adding to the list and the Deputies can see the frequency with which road traffic Bills come before the House. I guarantee that this will be under constant surveillance and we will take a sympathetic view of the suggestions that have been made today.
I can understand both sides of the argument on this. It would be useful to have a timeframe for when the evaluation will be done on these particular drugs and when an expanded list might be included in other legislation. A timeline for such would be quite useful.
That is reasonable. I am not sure of the answer to that question but I can report to the Deputies on Report Stage or before then. There is no effort here to obstruct this, I can assure the committee. It is just a matter of deciding to go ahead with what we have got while continuing to consider other drugs. Even if we were to include some that are on the list now, we would still have to consider others on the list as we go along.
In this area, the science and forensics is developing all the time, as is our understanding of the damage these drugs do to peoples' capacity to drive. It is an area that is constantly being monitored but we just want go ahead with what we have now. That is not to say, however, that we do not want to include what is on the list drawn up by the Deputies.
I move amendment No. 9:
In page 7, to delete lines 12 to 21 and substitute the following:
(units in whole blood)
|5||lysergic acid diethylamide||1µg/L|
I know that but what we have before us at the moment, namely, only cannabis, cocaine and heroin, is fairly restrictive given the rise in the use of amphetamines and all the other drugs that we know can impair driving. While I acknowledge what the Minister has said about extending the list, I believe that this the time to try to incorporate as many of those drug types as possible. It is disappointing that they have not been included. That said, I will withdraw the amendment on the basis that there will be some form of legislation coming forward in the next 12 months that will include many of the drugs referred to in my amendment. If these drugs can be included in the legislation in Wales, with a method for testing for them, there is no reason we cannot do the same here. There are as many people using the new types of hallucinogenic drugs as there are using cocaine, cannabis and heroin. This is something that we need to be on top of, so to speak. I ask the Minister to give a commitment that he will come back to the House on this matter and is not just sympathetic to it. I ask him to come back to the House soon with legislation that includes many of the drugs that are prevalent in society today. If he can do that, I am happy to withdraw my amendment.
I can give a commitment on a proposed timetable on Report Stage for when we can include some of these drugs and what we intend to do in terms of including other drugs in the future. I will outline what we are doing about it and what is happening within the Department. I do not know the details of all of the drugs and the potential harm that each one is doing. However, I will come back on Report Stage and give the committee a potential timetable for dealing with this.
I move amendment No. 11:
In page 7, line 36, to delete "the member" and substitute "him or her or that other member".
These are technical amendments which will clarify Garda procedure in testing for intoxicants.
I move amendment No. 15:
In page 10, between lines 3 and 4, to insert the following:"(8) Where a member of the Garda Síochána requires a person to provide a specimen of oral fluid under this section, the member may request the person of whom the requirement is made to produce for inspection any medical exemption certificate referred to in section 4(1B) or 5(1B) which he or she holds.".
I move amendment No. 19:
In page 10, between lines 18 and 19, to insert the following:"Impairment testing
8.The Act of 2010 is amended by substituting the following for section 11:"11.(1) Where a member of the Garda Síochána is of the opinion that a person driving or attempting to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle, or in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle with intent to drive or attempt to drive, in a public place is under the influence of an intoxicant, he or she may require the person to accompany him or her, or another member of the Garda Síochána, to a place at, or in the vicinity of, the public place concerned and there to perform tests (‘impairment tests’), in accordance with regulations made under this section, in his or her presence or in the presence of another member and in the manner indicated by him or her, or that other member, for the purpose of assessing whether or not the person’s ability to drive is impaired.
(2) Where a person is arrested under—(a) section 4(8), 5(10), 9(4), or 10(7) of this Act, orhaving driven, attempted to drive, or been in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle, a member of the Garda Síochána may, within 3 hours after the person so driving, attempting to drive or being in charge of the vehicle, at a Garda Síochána station, require the person to perform impairment tests in accordance with regulations made under this section for the purpose of assessing whether or not the person’s ability to drive is impaired.
(b) section 52(3), 53(5), 106(3A) or 112(6) of the Principal Act,
(3) Evidence obtained under subsection (1) or (2) that a person’s ability to drive is impaired shall be evidence for the purposes of sections 4 and 5 that the person is incapable of having proper control of a mechanically propelled vehicle.
(4) For the purposes of subsections (1) and (2) the Minister may
prescribe—(a) the kinds of impairment tests that may be required to be performed,(5) A person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with a requirement under subsection (1) or (2) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a class A fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or to both.
(b) the manner in which such a test may be administered,
(c) instructions to be given to a person performing such a test,
(d) the kind of observation of physical state that may be made in the course of such a test,
(e) the inferences that may be drawn from observations made in the course of such a test, and
(f) a form on which the observations made and inferences drawn in the course of such a test may be recorded and by which impairment may be assessed.
(6) A member of the Garda Síochána may arrest without warrant a person who in the member’s opinion is committing or has committed an offence under this section consisting of failing to comply with a requirement under subsection (1).
(7) Section 1(1) of the Probation of Offenders Act 1907 does not apply to an offence under this section.".".
I move amendment No. 20:
In page 15, between lines 14 and 15, to insert the following:"Amendment of section 2 of Road Traffic Act 2004
18. The Road Traffic Act 2004, is amended in section 2, by the insertion of the following definitions:" 'housing estate' means an area consisting of a self-contained group of dwellings with a single or multiple entry points for mechanically propelled vehicles;
'residential road' means a road, whether public or private, within an area defined as a housing estate.".".
It is good the Bill includes provision for a 20 km/h speed limit but we know that at present local authorities are less inclined to implement a low speed limit of 20 km/h, even if it is on the Statute Book, unless they are compelled to do so. It is important, particularly with regard to Jake's law and its legacy and for pedestrian safety and resident safety within housing estates, that we legislate for it to ensure local authorities enforce the 20 km/h speed limit within built up residential areas.
I understand that speed limits are required on housing estates from a road safety perspective. I would like to clarify whether they will be imposed by way of by-law. The arrangements for by-laws can be convoluted and until they are introduced in a composite way, they can delay the introduction of new proposals. This can be clumsy. For example, significant advertising must be undertaken. There is a complex regime surrounding by-laws. Will the Minister comment on that?
It is important that we do not give the impression that the imposition of the proposed speed limits will be automatic because there would then be an expectation that they will apply to every housing estate. People will be disappointed if that does not happen. The proposal lets designers off the hook. Gardaí cannot be deployed in every location to enforce speed limits and, therefore, roads have to be designed to a particular standard. There must be self-enforcing measures, particularly when designing new housing estates, which will achieve the proposed speed limits in order that we do not make the same mistakes again. Good design means that the motorist cannot see and must slow down on particular bends, for example. It is important that there should be dialogue between the Department and the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government to make sure a standard is built into the design of housing estates to achieve speed limits without enforcement. Will the Minister indicate how they will be applied?
If it is intended to reduce speed limits and, at some point in the future, revert to the original speed limit, does the Bill permit that? How that would happen?
Deputy Murphy more or less covered the issues I was going to raise. I come from a local authority background and the process of introducing by-laws is lengthy. Given the legalities and paperwork, many county managers prefer to pool all the by-laws into one book and, therefore, the proposed speed limits could take a few years to introduce. There will be a rash of applications to reduce the speed limit on housing estates to 20 km/h. Will the legislation fast-track them? Could individual municipal districts legally alter speed limits? Obviously, they will have to consult the Garda.
The legislation will have major implications for the position of speed signs. For example, if a crash occurs, there will be questions about whether it occurred inside or outside the speed limit zone if a sign is moved, and about where one defines the entry to an estate from another controlled speed limit zone. When a motorist enters a village or a town, he or she usually enters a 50 km/h zone but the speed limit will change when he or she enters an estate. There will be a legal quagmire in this regard.
I will address the questions first and then the amendments. Deputy Munster asked about the definition. It is being examined by the Attorney General. It is a bit of a problem. We have a problem with her definition because it is more difficult than we anticipated to define a "housing estate". Apparently, it could be interpreted to include five houses alongside a dual carriageway. We, therefore, have a difficulty, which is an ongoing problem that we are addressing.
I refer to Deputy Murphy's questions. The speed limit will be introduced by way of by-law. I accept her point about the process being convoluted and about delays but the proposal must go through the prescribed public consultation process. Sometimes, that causes a delay but it is thorough. Traffic calming is a matter for the local authority. She is correct that the speed limit will not be introduced automatically. It is up to the local authority. Her comments about the design of roads and self-enforcement are probably outside the scope of the Bill. It is a long-term issue and she is correct that housing estate design should be considered, particularly in the context of speed, and that applies to current estates.
With regard to the amendments, I accept there is a need to control the speed of vehicles in residential areas. I am not opposed to the principle of making provision in legislation for the application of a 20 km/h speed limit. I also wish to ensure the right to apply appropriate speed limits on regional and local roads continues to rest with local authorities. A major practical difficulty with the amendments in respect of a mandatory centrally imposed default speed limit of 20 km/h or 30 km/h relates to the designation of what constitutes a housing estate or, indeed, a residential road within a housing estate. Throughout the country, there is a vast variety of estates of different types, size, configuration, location and population which no single legal definition, including this one, can satisfactorily encapsulate. Many roads in our cities and towns, while having houses located on them, are also substantial routes for traffic, including, but not limited to, rush hour or commuting times. Examples of such include James's Street on the south side and Church Street on the north side of Dublin. How would the proposed definitions apply to such areas?
I am supportive of the Deputy's intention but I do not favour default 20 km/h or 30 km/h speed limits as proposed. By the nature of their definition, they are too discriminatory and do not cover all envisaged residential development scenarios. Elected councillors supported by expert advice from local authority road engineers have statutory responsibility for evaluating varying local conditions and are best placed to decide on the most appropriate special speed limit by-laws and associated traffic calming measures that should apply to any particular road, including residential, under their remit.
My Department's guidelines for setting and managing speed limits reiterate these responsibilities and provide guidance on such. These guidelines encourage the use by local authorities of the special speed limit of 30 km/h in residential areas, accompanied by the introduction of appropriate signage. Other publications such as the traffic management guidelines and the design manual for urban roads and streets also detail the options available to local authorities to facilitate traffic-calming measures and promote reduced vehicle speeds in housing estates and residential areas through modifications to the built environment, modifying road design with traffic islands, interrupted sight lines, pavement displacements, etc., an approach which is equally as important as setting an appropriate residential speed limit. This addresses Deputy Catherine Murphy's point.
Regarding the provision of a 20 km/h special speed limit, I have, in addition to the existing 30 km/h special speed limit available to elected local authority councillors, already made provision for the lower 20 km/h limit in the Bill. Once the Bill is passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas, local authorities will have the option to impose 20 km/h special speed limit by-laws in respect of roads for which such a limit is deemed necessary. My Department continues to support local authorities in implementing speed-reduction measures in residential areas by providing, through the aforementioned publications, detailed advice on the application of special speed limits and appropriate traffic-calming engineering measures, as well as dedicated funding for the provision of appropriate signage in residential areas.
One of the issues of concern raised by the Jake's Legacy campaign relates to the absence of legal powers for local authorities to apply speed limits in residential areas where the relevant roads have not been taken in charge by the authorities. My officials are exploring such a lack of powers with the Attorney General's office to see if a solution can be found that would be suitable for future legislation.
I met the Jake's Legacy group on one occasion. Members of the Oireachtas, my Department and others have responded to this tragedy and to the very worthy campaign in a fairly proactive manner. Some of the measures taken in the Bill are a direct response to that campaign and the tragedy to which it relates. This is one of those measures. It is being put in place in the hope that such events can be prevented and in response to something very traumatic which has happened. That is why the measure is included in the Bill.
I ask the Minister to consider at some point the issue of by-laws and partial reviews as opposed to full reviews. Local authorities very often say that they cannot do something until a raft of matters are dealt with because they must carry out the totality of a scheme. It is very frustrating because it delays matters around which there should be flexibility. I can see the point in providing the flexibility in the Bill for the individual local authorities to consider specific proposals as opposed to a generalised approach. This probably overcomes the issue of the definition to some degree. It permits lower speed limits where they have not previously been permitted. The typical answer of local authorities has been that they were not legally allowed to apply lower speed limits. That is a valid finding in the report.
Regarding the estates not taken in charge, the current situation in which the extension of duration is permitted to a planning permission can mean that people cannot petition to have their housing estate taken in charge for up to 17 years after planning permission has been granted. These are often the very estates in which there are large numbers of young children. Why would it not be legally permissible to have speed limits applied to estates that are not taken in charge? They are built to particular design standards.
There are a number of sections to that provision in the Constitution. One of the sections refers to "the common good". If the common good concerns the potential to protect children, that could be worth doing. I would dare anyone to challenge it in the courts.
We will leave it for the moment.
Deputy Catherine Murphy wanted me to answer a few other questions. I suppose the question of by-laws is a problem in that they operate in a kind of one-size-fits-all manner. I have some sympathy for local authorities in that regard. We must give them the flexibility because what suits one estate does not suit another and the application of an overall 20 km/h limit would be dangerous. I share the Deputy's frustration about the delays. However, if such thorough procedures are not in place, there will be complaints on the other side that there has been no thorough procedure, so I would prefer to leave it the way it is. This is a big step. It gives local authorities a lot of power. It will be interesting to see how they exercise it. It is probably right that we give them the power but we will review how they exercise. I am of the view that they should do exercise it fairly ruthlessly, given, as the Deputy noted, that the only real priority is the safety of the children who live in these estates. We will enter into a somewhat experimental sphere now to see what happens, whether it works and how the local authorities exercise the power.
I will not withdraw it. I understand much of what the Minister said. However, part of the problem, the frustration and the danger arises from the local authorities not taking action to install proper traffic-calming and safety measures within residential estates. To be fair to local authorities, the big stumbling block is the lack of funding received to implement these road safety measures. As other Deputies have said, there is also the reluctance of local authorities in not being to the fore or acting swiftly enough sometimes on speed limits and by-laws. There are several aspects to the issue. If it is not covered in legislation, then there will not be much chance of pressing local authorities to address through by-laws. The matter will be left to lie. The second part of the amendment states "30 kilometres per hour ... shall only be applied in respect of a road or roads".
Surely that would narrow down the definition of what a "housing estate" would be.
We are on the same ground. All I can say to the Deputy is that we cannot legislate for a default limit without clarity on this issue from the Attorney General. We have not yet had that clarity and we are still awaiting it, but we do not want to delay the Bill for that. We will have it and we will include that consideration when we come to the next phase of this. We do not want to delay the Bill for this issue. We cannot legislate for a default limit without that clarity from the Attorney General.
I will report to Deputy Munster on Report Stage. If we put amendments through now, it will delay the Bill. Maybe it would be better, if Deputy Munster wishes to push this, that we go to Report Stage with it. I will report to the Deputy on that on Report Stage but it will probably be the same answer. I think it will take some time.
I move amendment No. 21:
In page 15, between lines 14 and 15, to insert the following:
"18. Section 9(2) (as amended by section 86 of the Act of 2010) of the Road Traffic Act 2004 is amended by the subsection for paragraph (a) of the following:"(a) There shall be a speed limit of:(i) 20 kilometres per hour, which shall be applied in respect of a road within an area defined under local authority bye-laws as a residential area or housing estate but not covered by the provisions of section 7(1A), inserted by the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2015, in accordance with guidelines issued by the Minister under this section, and
(ii) 30 kilometres per hour, which shall only be applied in respect of a road or roads (other than a motorway) in accordance with guidelines issued by the Minister under this section.".".
We all will be aware with the issues of rickshaws and the fact that there is no regulation.
It was merely for clarity. It is amendment No. 20 in the context of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013. I am looking for the Act to be amended, in section 20, by the insertion of the following: "The Authority may make regulations, to be known as non-motorised passenger transport regulations, in relation to the operation of non-motorised passenger transporters in towns and cities.", and " 'non-motorised passenger transporters' means hackney carriage or rickshaw propelled by pedal cycle, pedal tricycle, horse, pedestrian or other such non-motorised means." A lot of the time, local authorities complain that legislation is needed but at the minute, no such legislation exists covering rickshaws.
We are on amendment No. 21. I do not see a reference to rickshaws in that amendment. It is further on. We have discussed what was covered in amendments Nos. 20 and 21 already under the one heading. Does Deputy Munster wish to press or withdraw amendment No. 21, which was discussed with amendment No. 20 in relation to the housing estates?
I move amendment No. 22:
In page 15, between lines 22 and 23, to insert the following:"PART 4Fixed charge offences—
AMENDMENT OF PART 3 OF THE ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 2010
19.The Act of 2010 is amended by substituting the following for section 34:"34.(1) This Part applies in respect of fixed charge offences.(2) For the purposes of this Part, any of the following offences, committed after this section comes into operation, is a fixed charge offence:(a) a summary offence under the Road Traffic Acts 1961 to 2016 declared by the Minister by regulations, made after consultation with the Minister for Justice and Equality, to be a fixed charge offence;(3) The Minister may make regulations for the purposes of declaring an offence to be a fixed charge offence.".".
(b) a summary offence under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2015 declared by the Minister by regulations, made after consultation with the Minister for Justice and Equality, to be a fixed charge offence;
(c) an offence which may only be tried summarily under the Road Transport Act 1933 (or any Act construed as one with it) declared by the Minister by regulations to be a fixed charge offence;
(d) an offence which may only be tried summarily under any regulation providing for the carriage of goods or passengers by road or the harmonisation of legislation relating to road transport made under the European Communities Act 1972 declared by the Minister by regulations to be a fixed charge offence;
(e) an offence under Part 3 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013, other than an offence punishable under section 20(4)(a) of that Act, declared by the Minister by regulations to be a fixed charge offence;
(f) an offence under the Road Safety Authority (Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness) Act 2012 (other than an offence referred to in section 41 of that Act) declared by the Minister by regulations to be a fixed charge offence;
(g) an offence under Regulation 4 of the European Communities (Installation and Use of Speed Limitation Devices in Motor Vehicles) Regulations 2005 (S.I. No. 831 of 2005);
(h) an offence under Regulation 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 of the European Communities (Compulsory Use of Safety Belts and Child Restraint Systems in Motor Vehicles) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 240 of 2006);
(I) an offence under—(i) section 73 of the Finance Act 1976, and
(ii) section 139 of the Finance Act 1992.
Of course. I am proposing a number of technical amendments here to Part 3 of the Road Traffic Act 2010.
Part 3 of the 2010 Act replaces the existing legislation for fixed charge offences and in particular provides for the so-called "third payment option", with which everybody is familiar. At present, motorists who receive a fixed charge notice have 28 days in which to pay the charge and if they do not, a further 28 days in which to pay the charge plus 50%. If they have not paid at that point, court proceedings would be initiated. The third payment option adds to this system a notice issued with the summons to court allowing the person to pay the original charge plus 100% not later than seven days before the due date of court proceedings. If they do so the court proceedings are discontinued. The operation of the third payment option will reduce the burden on courts and will also end the practice of motorists going to court and claiming that they never received a fixed charge notice.
For the new system to be brought into effect, we need to make a number of changes to the 2010 Act. First, we have to ensure that the first fixed charge notice sets out in its entirety the procedure concerned up to and including the third payment option. Currently, the legislation does not provide for this. Second, we need to make changes to account for a clarification in policy to state that the Garda Síochána, and not the Court Service, will be issuing the summon.
I move amendment No. 23:
In page 15, between lines 22 and 23, to insert the following:"Amendment of section 35 of Act of 2010 - fixed charge notice - service
20.Section 35 of the Act of 2010 is amended—(a) in subsection (1), by substituting "the member shall serve" for "the member may serve" in both places it occurs,
(b) in subsection (3)(b)(i)(II) by substituting "subsection (1)" for "subsection (2)",
(c) in subsection (5)(a) (inserted by section 77(1)(d) of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013) by substituting "section 34(2)(c) or section 34(2)(d)" for "section 34(b)",
(d) in subsection (5)(b) (inserted by section 77(1)(d) of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013) by substituting "section 34(2)(e)" for "section 34(c)", and
(e) in subsection (6)(a) by inserting "under subsection (1)(b)" after "such a vehicle".".
I move amendment No. 24:
In page 15, between lines 22 and 23, to insert the following:"Amendment of section 36 of Act of 2010 - fixed charge notice - form
21.Section 36 of the Act of 2010 is amended—(a) in subsection (1)(e) by substituting "paragraph (b), (c) or (e)" for "paragraph (b) or (c)" and by deleting "(within that meaning)" in both places it occurs,
(b) in subsection (1A) (inserted by section 77(1)(e) of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013)—(i) by substituting "referred to in section 34(2)(e)" for "declared under section 34(c) to be a fixed charge offence and", and(c) in subsection (2)(c) by deleting "and",
(ii) by substituting "subsection (2) of section 35 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013" for "subsection (2) of section 35",
(d) by substituting for subsection (2)(d) the following:(e) by inserting after subsection (2)(d) the following:"(d) a prosecution in respect of the alleged offence will not be instituted during either 28 day period specified in the notice or, if a payment is made in accordance with the notice during either period, at all, and",(f) by inserting after subsection (3)(c) the following:"(e) if the person is served with a summons in respect of the alleged offence the person may, not later than 7 days before the day specified in the summons on which the person is required to appear in court, make a payment of a fixed charge as specified in the notice served with the summons of an amount 100 per cent greater than the prescribed amount referred to in paragraph (b) and, if the person pays such amount proceedings in respect of the alleged offence will be discontinued.",(g) by substituting for subsection (3)(g) the following:"(cc) a person who is served with a summons in respect of the alleged offence may, not later than 7 days before the day specified in the summons on which the person is required to appear in court, make a payment of a fixed charge of an amount 100 per cent greater than the prescribed amount referred to in paragraph (b),",(h) by deleting subsection (4).".and"(g) if the registered owner complies with section 35(6), a payment aforesaid need not be made by the registered owner and a prosecution of him or her in respect of the alleged offence will not be initiated,
(gg) if a summons has been served in respect of the alleged offence and, not later than 7 days before the day specified in the summons on which the person is required to appear in court, the person on whom the summons was served, makes a payment specified in the notice served with the summons, in accordance with that notice, the prosecution in respect of the alleged offence shall be discontinued,",
I move amendment No. 25:
In page 15, between lines 22 and 23, to insert the following:"Amendment of section 37 of Act of 2010 - payment of fixed charge
22.Section 37 of the Act of 2010 is amended—(a) in subsection (1)(a), by substituting "either 28 day period" for "the period",
(b) in subsection (1)(c)—(i) by substituting "either 28 day period specified" for "the period specified",(c) by substituting for subsection (2) the following:
(ii) by substituting "during either such period" for "during the period so specified", and
(iii) by deleting "in relation to the payment,","(2) Subject to section 44, the payment of a fixed charge shall not be accepted after the expiration of the second 28 day period specified in the fixed charge notice.".".
I move amendment No. 26:
In page 15, between lines 22 and 23, to insert the following:"Payment of fixed charge notice on service of summons
23.The Act of 2010 is amended by substituting for section 44 the following:"44.(1) Where a member of the Garda Síochána serves a person with a summons in respect of a fixed charge offence the member shall serve, or cause to be served, on the person, a notice under this section ('section 44 notice').(2) A section 44 notice shall be served with, and in the same manner as, the summons in respect of the fixed charge offence to which the section 44 notice relates.
(3) A section 44 notice—(a) shall be in the prescribed form,(4) A section 44 notice shall, without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), contain a statement to the effect that—
(b) shall contain details of the manner of payment of a fixed charge,
(c) may specify the person to whom, and the place where, the payment is to be made and whether the payment is to be accompanied by the notice, duly completed, and
(d) if it relates to a penalty point offence shall—(i) require such details of the driving licence or learner permit held by the person on whom it is served as specified in the notice, and
(ii) contain a statement to the effect that if the person on whom it is served pays the fixed charge or is convicted of that offence, different specified numbers of penalty points will be endorsed on the entry of the person.(a) the person on whom it is served is alleged to have committed an offence specified in the summons with which it is served,(5) The fixed charge amount stated in a section 44 notice shall be an amount 100 per cent greater than the prescribed amount stated in the fixed charge notice served on the person, in accordance with section 35, in respect of the fixed charge offence to which it relates.
(b) the person may, not later than 7 days before the date specified in the summons on which the person is required to appear in court, make a payment of a fixed charge of an amount stated in the notice in the manner specified in the notice,
(c) where the summons relates to a penalty point offence, if the person on whom it is served makes a payment in accordance with paragraph (b) or is convicted of that offence, different specified numbers of penalty points will be endorsed on the entry of the person, and
(d) if the person pays the fixed charge no proceedings in respect of the alleged offence will be continued and the person need not attend the court on the day specified in the summons.
(6) Where a section 44 notice is served the person to whom it applies may, during the period specified in the notice and in accordance with the notice, make a payment specified in the notice.
(7) A payment under this section—(a) may be received only within the period referred to in subsection (4)(b) and in accordance with the section 44 notice, and(8) The person receiving a payment under this section may issue a receipt for it.
(b) is not recoverable by the persons paying it.
(9) Where a person who has been served with a summons accompanied by a section 44 notice makes a payment of a fixed charge in accordance with the notice, proceedings in respect of the alleged offence to which the notice relates shall be discontinued.
(10) Where a person is served with a summons accompanied by a section 44 notice in respect of a fixed charge offence, it shall not be a defence for the person served with the summons to show that he or she was not served with a fixed charge notice in respect of the alleged offence in accordance with section 35.
(11) In this section 'summons' means a summons issued under—(a) section 10 of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act 1851, or
(b) the Courts (No. 3) Act 1986".".
I move amendment No. 27:
In page 15, between lines 22 and 23, to insert the following:"Interpretation
24.The Act of 2010 is amended by substituting for section 47 the following:"47.(1) In this Part—'entry' has the meaning assigned to it by section 1(1) of the Act of 2002;(2) In this Part, references to a fixed charge notice under this section, duly completed, are references to such a notice on which the number, the date of the grant, and the period of validity of the driving licence of the person to whom the notice relates have been inserted by or on behalf of the person.".".
'fixed charge' means the amount of a fixed charge prescribed under section 41;
'fixed charge notice' means a notice served under section 35;
'fixed charge offence' means an offence referred to in section 34;
'penalty point' has the meaning assigned to it by section 1(1) of the Act of 2002;
'penalty point offence' has the meaning assigned to it by section 1(1) of the Act of 2002;
'section 44 notice' has the meaning assigned to it by section 44;
'traffic warden' means a person standing authorised under section 42(1).
I move amendment No. 28:
In page 15, between lines 22 and 23, to insert the following:"Fixed Charge Offences - transitional provisions
25.The Act of 2010 is amended by inserting after section 49 the following:"49A.(1) Section 103 of the Principal Act and sections 19 and 20 of the Act of 2004 shall, notwithstanding section 49, apply to a fixed charge offence (within the meaning of section 103 of the Principal Act) committed before section 34 comes into operation.(2) Notwithstanding section 48(4), that section shall continue to apply in respect of a fixed charge offence (within the meaning of section 103 of the Principal Act) committed before section 34 comes into operation.".".
Amendment No. 32 is similar to my amendment, which is amendment No. 33. Amendment No. 33 involves the driving licence number of the policyholder and all named drivers covered under the policy. The amendment aims to ensure the motor insurance industry gives clarity and full information to the Garda.
I will address the amendments very briefly. Deputy Munster's amendment is almost identical to my amendment. The substance of it is already covered in the amendments I am proposing, which are more wide-ranging in various areas. Section 78A of the Road Traffic Act 1961 requires motor insurers to provide details regarding insurance policies to the Garda, the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland and the Minister. The difficulty with section 78A is that it does not specify what details are covered. In section 19 of the Road Transport Bill 2016, I am setting out a list of the details to be provided by insurers and I intend at this point to make a number of amendments to the section. I am proposing to replace the words "unique identification mark" with "vehicle registration number". It was always my intention that the vehicle registration number would be provided but it has been drawn to my attention that the phrase "unique identification mark" could be interpreted as either the registration number or the vehicle identification number. I am now proposing to change the wording to remove the ambiguity. The current list of details to be provided by insurers consists of six items labelled (a) to (f). I am proposing to add a seventh, namely, the licence or learner permit number of the policyholder and any named drivers. This is a crucial piece of information in ensuring that records provided by insurers can be matched correctly to drivers. As a consequence of this amendment, I am also proposing to remove the word "and" from the end of subsection (e) and add it to the end of subsection (f).
I move amendment No. 32:
In page 16, between lines 8 and 9, to insert the following:"(g) the licence number, or permit number, of the driving licence, or learner permit, of the holder of a motor insurance policy and of any named driver whose driving is covered under the policy.".".
I move amendment No. 35:
In page 16, between lines 8 and 9, to insert the following:"Regulation of Rickshaws
20.The Taxi Regulation Act 2013, is amended in section 20, by the insertion of the following subsection:"(5) (i) The Authority may make regulations, to be known as non-motorised passenger transport regulations, in relation to the operation of non-motorised passenger transporters in towns and cities.(ii) ‘non-motorised passenger transporters’ means hackney carriage or rickshaw propelled by pedal cycle, pedal tricycle, horse, pedestrian or other such non-motorised means.".".
We are all aware of the issue and the lack of regulation or legislation around rickshaws, particularly in cities. Local authorities have complained that without legislation, there is little or nothing they can do. The intention of this amendment is to bridge the legislative gap to allow for the regulation of rickshaws. We know the problems relating to them. We know that there are not just road safety issues but passenger safety issues. They are not held to account in any legislative way so it is time we addressed that and I am looking for this new section to be inserted.
What the Deputy says is correct. There is a lacuna here. Anybody who wanders around the streets of Dublin at night will see these groups and will be concerned about regulation. I will address the current situation. In response to the concerns being expressed by Deputy Munster, which are primarily safety issues, Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority, NTA, have obtained legal advice about their respective powers to regulate pedal-powered rickshaws. I understand that discussions have recently taken place between Dublin City Council and the NTA which have agreed to make an approach to regulating pedal-powered rickshaws. This would require the drafting and introduction of primary legislation. My Department is now engaged with the NTA to frame the policy clearly to guide any detailed legislative drafting, with passenger safety being the key focus. I will consider actively the legislative proposals that emerge when this work has been progressed, following which I will be in a position to outline an indicative legislative timeframe. The Deputy has identified something. This needs something. I will not do it in this Bill but I will do it. I can do it in this Bill but the Bill would be delayed. I can tell the Deputy that I am going to do it and it is being addressed.
Can we get a timeframe because in all fairness, the Minister has been aware of this since the beginning of the year? I know it does not happen overnight but it is like everything else. There needs to be a timeframe because here we are discussing the Bill, people are moving amendments we want to see included in the Bill and we are continually asked to hold off. We need a timeframe on this issue because the situation is starting to get out of hand in Dublin city in particular, so it is high time the matter was dealt with.
Deputy Troy has tabled an amendment or two on this as well, but it might be worth recording some background as to where we are coming from. I will summarise the two amendments we have put down on the regulation of rickshaws. No agency currently has the authority to regulate rickshaws. The NTA, which regulates small public service vehicles such as taxis or hackneys, cannot regulate them because a public service vehicle is defined as one which is mechanically propelled. The Minister provided feedback on his Department and Dublin City Council and set out that local authorities do not feel they have the authority to regulate or license rickshaws because they are not pedal-powered vehicles. This is aside from the other issues in relation to pay rates and lighting of vehicles, never mind their licensing. While Dublin City Council made draft by-laws to regulate rickshaws in 2013, these were withdrawn on legal advice. This is because the great majority of rickshaws are neither pedal-powered or mechanically-propelled, rather they are battery-assisted. This means that under current legislative definitions, they are not small public service vehicles or taxis, which are defined as mechanically-propelled vehicles. Hence, the National Transport Authority is not authorised to regulate them.
The amendments we are putting forward, in addition to those tabled by Deputy Munster, alter the definition of "small public service vehicle" to include battery-powered, pedal-powered and non-mechanically powered vehicles and seek to create a new category of public service vehicle now to be called "public service rickshaws". This includes all rickshaws including mechanically-powered, manually-powered and cycle-rickshaws. This would clean up the legal lacuna the Minister has mentioned and would mean the NTA would become the authorised body for regulating rickshaws nationally. The amendments also oblige the NTA to make certain regulations in respect of rickshaws. These include that rickshaws must be licensed, that drivers can be subject to background checks and that vehicles can be inspected for roadworthiness.
The Minister has indicated that he wants to do this through primary legislation and this is primary legislation. I understand that it was not his intention to deal with the matter in this Bill, but I encourage him to look at accepting some of these amendments as an interim measure ahead of the more comprehensive legislation he may have in mind. Perhaps he could consider accepting some of the amendments on this matter before Report Stage. Has the Minister ever travelled in a rickshaw?
Some regulation is needed urgently. These are commercially-operated vehicles. While there might be three types of rickshaws, pedal, battery-supported and mechanically-operated, there are issues of fair competition and road safety too. I see them at night when they can shoot across town without due consideration. Sometimes, they may not be properly lit up. If one is a cyclist, one is obliged to wear a hi-vis garment whereas these people operate in casual gear with no lighting, which is why something has to be pushed forward quickly here. I support the Deputies in this regard.
All the Deputies have identified a problem and I should acknowledge that. It is right to say there is a problem. The reply I gave, which is that Dublin City Council and the NTA are looking at it, appears to me to fail somewhat to meet the justifiable impatience I sense at this meeting. There is a certain amount of concern, which I share. I will not include provisions in this Bill because of some questions that need to be answered. It needs time. I refer to the legal definition of "vehicle", who will test the safety of vehicles, whether there will be licences as with taxis, how the fares will be set and by whom, who will regulate fares and issues around the regulation of drivers. All those issues are being discussed by the NTA and Dublin City Council. I could say I will include provisions now but that would delay the Bill. That is the reality. However, I will get on to the NTA and Dublin City Council before Report Stage and come back to Deputies to say what is happening and proposed in more detail. To be fair, I have not given them nearly enough detail here. Primary legislation will be required and that legislation must be sound. I do not want to rush it and have a flaw there. I will report back to Deputies because I acknowledge that this is a problem and that we will have to regulate. Perhaps the issue needs an injection of urgency. I hope that is adequate for Deputies. It is the realistic situation.
It is. If one reads what we seek to insert, it is that the authority may make regulations to be known as non-motorised passenger transport regulations in relation to the operation of non-motorised passenger transporters in towns and cities. There is nothing I can see in that paragraph alone that prohibits its inclusion as a new section in the Bill.
I agree that it would be possible but it would delay the Bill. Why not wait until Report Stage, when I will provide a report on where we are and on what are the possibilities? If we are going to delay the Bill now, it will have to go backwards and forwards and the whole Bill will be delayed. I assure the Deputies that we will address this and I will come back with where we are. We will take it seriously. The totality of the Bill is rather more important than one issue.
A lot of issues were raised today. They were withdrawn because of the fact that they would delay the Bill. In fairness, I seek a bit of flexibility. A lot of the amendments were withdrawn because they would have delayed the Bill. That point was recognised. The Minister knew full well that this was a serious issue that needed to be addressed.
It would not have taken too much to keep the pressure on and to speed up so that we would have had something prior to this which we could have included in the Bill. We would not then be at this stage. I am not withdrawing it, therefore. I cannot see why that paragraph cannot be included. It at least acknowledges the need for regulation that can be included in the Bill. I would not accept that suggestion for a moment and unless the Minister comes back with something concrete, I will not withdraw it.
There must be legislation somewhere in the vaults which covers non-mechanically propelled passenger vehicles. There must be historic legislation governing non-mechanically propelled passenger-carrying vehicles. Is there not an existing law governing this from way back?
What governs the horse and trap, for example, in Killarney and elsewhere? There must be something. It is disappointing because there is a Revenue issue, a social issue, a safety issue, as Deputy O'Keeffe said, and then there is the whole regulation of it. It is dangerous. The Minister has seen it in the city at night himself. It is actually quite dangerous.
Rickshaws are fun, but those who provide them do not, as far as I am aware, adhere to traffic laws, including on using one-way road systems. There is a crying need for regulation as otherwise there will be a serious accident. For example, should rickshaws providers be permitted to use cycle lanes, bus lanes and so on, as they currently do? It appears that it is a free-for-all for rickshaw providers, while other public transport services are regulated to the hilt.
I do not dispute what the Deputy is saying. The point I am making is that the Bill deals primarily with urgent issues such as drugs and written-off vehicles. The Deputy has raised a specific issue, the urgency of which does not match the urgency of some of the others we are addressing in the Bill. I do not want the Bill to be delayed for months; I want to see enacted as soon as possible. I agree with the Deputy on the need for proper regulation of rickshaws. I will seek an update for her on the problems caused and a timetable for what is being done in that regard. As I said, I do not want to see the Bill being delayed by other issues which are not at its core. Road safety is too important and lives are at stake. If we get the Bill through such that drug testing can commence, we can save lives. If at this stage we were to try to have the rickshaw issue addressed in the Bill, it could be delayed for months and I do not want to see that happen. I am happy to commit to addressing the rickshaw issue urgently if the Deputy is willing to withdraw the amendment. I will forward to her the timetable in that regard once I receive it from the NTA and the DCC.
I move amendment No. 36:
In page 16, between lines 15 and 16, to insert the following:“Amendment of section 22 of Road Traffic Act 2002
21. Section 22 of the Road Traffic Act 2002 is amended—
(a) by substituting for subsection (1) (inserted by section 63 of the Road Traffic Act 2010) the following:“(1) Where a person is convicted of an offence under the Road Traffic Acts 1961 to 2016 other than an offence under—(b) in subsection (2) by substituting “a requirement under subsection (1)” for “the requirements of subsection (1)”.”.(a) section 38, 84, 85 or 101 of the Principal Act, or(i) whether or not the licence or permit was produced, and
(b) section 35 (in so far as it relates to the parking of vehicles), 36 or 36A (inserted by section 12 of the Roads Act 2007) of the Act of 1994, the presiding judge shall require the person to produce his or her driving licence or learner permit to the registrar, clerk or other principal officer of the court, and the court shall record—
(ii) where the licence or permit was produced, the details specified in that licence or permit.”, and
I move amendment No. 37:
In page 17, between lines 20 and 21, to insert the following:
“Amendment of Part 4 of First Schedule to Road Traffic Act 2002 - penalty points
22. (1) Part 4 of the First Schedule to the Road Traffic Act 2002 is amended by substituting the following for the entry at reference number 8:
(5)(a) or (7)
(d) of article
cycle track or
(2) Section 10(c)(i) of the Road Traffic Act 2014 is repealed.".
I move amendment No. 38:
In page 17, between lines 20 and 21, to insert the following:“Use of a Mobile Phone while driving
22. The Road Traffic Act 2006, is amended in section 3, by the insertion of the following subsection:
“(10) It shall be an offence under this subsection to use a mobile phone which is held in a device by the steering wheel or is in a cradle by the driver’s side of the vehicle. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing it shall not be an offence to use a hands-free device while driving.”.”.
The purpose of this amendment is to address a loophole in the legislation whereby motorists can currently use a mobile phone held in a device adjacent to the steering wheel or in the cradle by the driver's seat. I am not speaking about hands-free kits. The amendment seeks to close the loophole which has been identified in law.
I am not speaking about hands-free kits but about devices attached to the steering wheel or in the cradle beside the driver's seat into which a mobile phone can be inserted, thereby enabling the driver to text and so on. As it means taking his or her eyes off the road, it is a road safety issue. I am seeking to make it an offence to use a mobile phone held in such a device while driving.
I can see from where Deputy Imelda Munster is coming, but if we were to go down this road, it would not even be possible to make a telephone call using a hands-free kit while driving because obviously one has to scroll to find a telephone number. For example, if a person was seen using a mobile phone while driving and he or she was stopped by a garda, would the garda have to check the phone to see whether the person was making a telephone call or texting? This would cause a big problem for An Garda Síochána.
As I said, I am puzzled by this proposal. It has been an offence since 2006 to hold a mobile phone while driving. Regulations were introduced in May 2014 by the then Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Deputy Leo Varadkar, which prohibited texting from hands-free mobile phones, for example, mobile phones held in a cradle on the dashboard. This addressed a loophole which had allowed people to text while driving as long as they were not holding the mobile phone. The penalty in this case is a fine not exceeding €2,000 on summary conviction. In-car technology and communications equipment is evolving rapidly. In some instances the technology is increasing road safety. However, we still face a huge problem in the number of people who continue to use mobile phones while driving. I have been informed by the Attorney General's office that this year to date 22,170 people have been caught driving while using a mobile phone. I will be monitoring this issue with a view to making changes in policy, as necessary. I will be interested to see whether the increase in penalty points in the United Kingdom to six on conviction for driving while using a mobile phone has an impact in changing driver behaviour.
I move amendment No. 39:
In page 18, between lines 22 and 23, to insert the following:“Amendment of section 4 of Vehicle Clamping Act 2015
24. Section 4 of the Vehicle Clamping Act 2015 is amended—
(a) by substituting the following for subsection (1):“(1) Before making regulations under this Act (other than under section 15)the NTA shall—(b) in subsection (4), by deleting “(1)(b) or”.”.(a) consult with the Minister, and where the proposed regulations relate to a statutory clamping place, the body having responsibility for that place,
(b) publish a notice in at least one national newspaper circulating in the State and on its website—(i) indicating that it proposes to make regulations under this Act,(c) consider any representations received pursuant to paragraph (b).”.
(ii) indicating that a copy of the proposed regulations is available for inspection at the NTA offices specified in the notice and on its website for a specified period (being not less than 30 days), and
(iii) stating that representations concerning the proposed regulations may be made in writing before a specified date (which shall be not less than 14 days after the end of the period for inspection), and
Section 24 relates to the Vehicle Clamping Act, in which a gap was identified in the reply to me to a parliamentary question.
I have a big problem with clamping on private open space. In fact, it has been outlawed in England, Scotland and Wales. There is a myriad of different operators in this country charging different amounts of money, and the appeal process is very deficient. Is this specifically providing for an independent appeals process? There is an independent appeals process of sorts at present and, to be honest, from what I see it is making up the rules as it goes along. It is unfair to motorists because there are different arrangements for each clamping organisation. One can be charged up to €120 for the most minor infringement. Does this provide for the NTA to be the independent appeals mechanism? Is what is provided for here the policy position that will inform the decisions it will make as the independent appeals body?
That is the case. The NTA will do that. The changes proposed in amendment No. 39 are technical amendments to section 4 of the Vehicle Clamping Act 2015 and are designed to correct an error in the Act. The Act has implications for the regulation of clamping activities wherever they are operated and, upon commencement, the NTA will assume the function of regulating clamping activities in relevant clamping places in accordance with the Act.
A number of Deputies have made inquiries about the Act's commencement in recent months. The NTA required a period of time to recruit a small number of additional staff and to put in place the necessary back-up support to ensure the reasonable operation of its new duties under the Act. That period is now complete and during final discussions with the Department in recent weeks regarding commencement of the Act, it was noticed that section 4(1)(b) required the NTA to publish in full a draft of any proposed regulations in a national newspaper as well as on its website. The requirement would result in possibly 20 or more pages of draft regulations being printed in a national newspaper, which would not only look very unusual but would also cost a considerable and totally unnecessary amount of money. Such a requirement on publication is not what is required in similar and analogous cases. My intention, therefore, is to amend the Act to bring this publication and consultation provision into line with those used elsewhere. The amendments will require the NTA to publish in full any draft regulations on its website and then publish a notice of the draft regulations in a national newspaper. This is in line with the requirements elsewhere in other similar legislative measures. During the consultation period the NTA will also be required to make available for inspection a copy of the draft regulations in its office as well as on its website. The NTA will still be required by other provisions in the original Act to consider any representations it receives in response to any such consultation.
These amendments will allow for the speedy commencement of the Act, which many people have called for. As amendment No. 39 amends the Vehicle Clamping Act 2015, it is necessary to amend the long Title to this Bill to reflect this. That is the substance of amendment No. 52, which also adds reference to the long Title to the agreement on mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between Ireland and the UK, which is dealt with in section 25 of the Bill.
I move amendment No. 40:
In page 18, between lines 31 and 32, to insert the following:“Owner permitting vehicle to be driven by unaccompanied learner25. (1) Subsection (2) applies where a holder of a learner permit—(a) commits an offence by driving a vehicle when not accompanied by and under the supervision of a qualified person, contrary to Article 20(6)(b)(iv) of the Road Traffic (Licensing of Drivers) Regulations 1999, and(2) Where this subsection applies, the owner of the vehicle concerned also commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a class A fine, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or to both.
(b) is not the owner of the vehicle concerned.
(3) In proceedings for an offence under subsection (2), it is a defence to show that the vehicle concerned was driven without the owner’s consent and that he or she had taken all reasonable precautions to prevent its being so driven.”.
This amendment is a response to the statement of the Clancy family, which was reported on 22 November following the trial of an unaccompanied learner driver who caused the deaths of their mother and daughter. Noel Clancy said at the time that the Government and Irish society needed to reflect on the number of young learner drivers who drive cars unaccompanied in contravention of the law. He also said it was important to reflect on the question of how many unaccompanied learner drivers are on the roads of Ireland on any given day and how many parents and family members allow their cars to be driven by these drivers. He further called on the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport to implement legislation to provide that allowing one's car to be driven by an unaccompanied learner driver is an offence and would make the car owner and driver equally accountable in law. My amendment addresses this issue.
I thank Deputy Ryan for tabling this amendment. When the Deputy speaks for the Clancy family he is speaking for a large number of people in this country. When I saw that case reported on the news the night it happened I rang the head of the Road Safety Authority and asked what the situation was and whether legislation should be introduced to remedy the awful problem highlighted by the Clancy family. She agreed that it definitely should be addressed. Strengthening the law with regard to unaccompanied learner permit holders is something I have asked my officials to examine in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General, whose advice will have to be sought as to the barriers to introducing such an offence on the registered owner of a vehicle. My officials will also liaise with the Garda as to the enforceability of such a proposal.
It is a serious problem. We do not know the extent of it but the fact that it had to be highlighted by a death and a court case such as this is unacceptable. A learner permit holder who is driving when unaccompanied is not meeting one of the key conditions attached to their permit and therefore is driving unlicensed. This is already an offence which carries three penalty points on payment of a fixed charge notice and five penalty points on conviction in court. Furthermore, the cost of insurance working group, chaired by Deputy Eoghan Murphy and in which the Department is a participant, will introduce measures to deal with unaccompanied driving. I understand that its report will be finalised and presented to the Minister for Finance, Deputy Noonan, before the end of the year. That is the insurance aspect. However, I am not satisfied with the safety aspect. I assure the Deputy it is now being addressed urgently. It is a pity it took a court case such as that to address it.
There should be further discussion on it. If the Minister feels that way, why does he think my amendment does not address the issue? Why is further consideration required? That is one element. In general, however, this amendment, if enacted, would be very helpful to parents. I am at an age where I see teenage children who are driving their mother's or father's car or seeking permission to do so. They pressurise their parents. They argue that even if it is the law the gardaí do not bother with it and that it will be grand. The amendment gives parents further armour to be able to push back against that argument, which we know takes place in households throughout the country. The parents can say that if their child is caught driving illegally, they will be in trouble as well. It is a serious matter and this is a neat amendment which will address it.
I agree. I would have to hear very cogent arguments as to why it cannot be addressed in this legislation. It is an anomaly and it appears to be something straightforward in terms of making a legislative change. I do not see what the difficulty is with the amendment.
The Deputy is right in principle. I believe it is fine in principle. The reason I am reluctant to accept it now is that I wish to examine it more closely to see what the implications are for other areas of legislation for drink driving and whether it would undermine those offences in any way. We will probably need serious legal advice on it. The other issue is that the regulations to which the amendment refers are the road traffic regulations 1999.
They are not the correct regulations. The 1999 regulations were replaced in 2006.
I am well aware of the tragic incidents and I know both families. I appreciate where Deputy Ryan is coming from and I ask for the situation to be reviewed. I am concerned about making people guilty and over things like the onus of proof. How does one prove that the parents took a casual approach? Many years ago, young people took the keys and went out the back of the house to learn to drive. It is a delicate situation and this could cause more damage to families. I know where Mr. Clancy came from and I know the family well. The first anniversary of this tragic incident is approaching and it highlights the difficulties. The laws are in place and gardaí have checkpoints. They are aware of the age of a driver and I am asking for Garda reinforcements under the existing legislation.
I will address the inaccuracy highlighted by the Minister vis-à-vis2006 and 1999. If the Minister is not prepared to accept the amendment I will resubmit it on Report Stage, having addressed the inaccuracy. It will give the Minister further time to take the necessary legal advice he says he needs. It seems to me to be a quite straightforward amendment. Consent is dealt with under subsection (3) of the amendment.
I move amendment No. 41:
In page 18, between lines 31 and 32, to insert the following:
“Regulation of Rickshaws
25. Section 3 of the Principal Act is amended by—(a) substituting the following for the definition of “public service vehicle”:
“ ‘public service vehicle’ means a mechanically propelled, battery assisted, pedal propelled or non-mechanically propelled vehicle used for the carriage of
persons for reward;”
(b) inserting the following new definition:
“ ‘public service rickshaw’ is not a large public service vehicle that is battery assisted, pedal or non-mechanically propelled;’’.”.
I will withdraw the amendment.
I move amendment No. 42:
In page 18, between lines 31 and 32, to insert the following:
“Amendments to Taxi Regulation Act 2013
25. (1) The Taxi Regulation Act 2013, is amended in section 2 by inserting the following definitions:“(a) ‘PSR’ means public service rickshaw, and(2) The Taxi Regulation Act 2013, is amended in section 6(3) by inserting “public service rickshaws” after “vehicles”.
(b) ‘PSR regulations’ means regulations made under section 20.”.
(3) The Taxi Regulation Act 2013, is amended in section 7—(a) in subsection (1)(a), by inserting “and public service rickshaws” after “vehicles”,(4) The Taxi Regulation Act 2013, is amended in section 8—
(b) in subsection (1)(b), by inserting “and public service rickshaws” after “vehicles”,
(c) in subsection (1)(c), by inserting “or public service rickshaws” after “vehicles”,
(d) in subsection (2)(a), by inserting “or public service rickshaws” after “vehicle”,
(e) in subsection (2)(b), by inserting “or public service rickshaws” after “vehicle”,
(f) in subsection (2)(c), by inserting “or public service rickshaws” after “vehicles”,
(g) in subsection (2)(f), by inserting “or public service rickshaws” after “vehicle”,
(h) in subsection (2)(f)(iv), by inserting “or PSR” after “SPSV”,
(i) in subsection (2)(m), by inserting “and public service rickshaws” after “vehicle”,
(j) in subsection (2)(o), by inserting “or public service rickshaws” after “vehicle”,
(k) in subsection (4)(a)(i), by inserting “and public service rickshaws” after “vehicles”, and
(l) in subsection (4)(a)(ii), by inserting “and public service rickshaws” after “vehicles”.(a) in subsection (1)(d), by inserting “or, if applicable, public service rickshaws” after “transport”,(5) The Taxi Regulation Act 2013, is amended in section 10—
(b) in subsection (1)(e), by inserting “or, if applicable, public service rickshaws” after “vehicles”, and
(c) in subsection (5), by inserting “or a public service rickshaw” after “vehicle”.(a) in subsection (2)(c), by inserting “or driving a public service rickshaw” after “driving a small public service vehicle”, and(6) The Taxi Regulation Act 2013, is amended in section 47(3) by inserting “or a public service rickshaw” after “vehicle”.
(b) in subsection (2)(d), by inserting “or a public service rickshaw” after “vehicle”.
(7) The Taxi Regulation Act 2013, is amended in section 48(4)(b) by inserting “or a public service rickshaw” after “vehicle”.
(8) The Taxi Regulation Act 2013, is amended in section 64—(a) in subsection (1), by inserting “and public service rickshaws” after “vehicles”, and
(b) in subsection (1)(e), by inserting “or public service rickshaw” after “vehicle”.”.
In the context of what the Minister said on preparing primary legislation for rickshaws, I will withdraw the amendment.
I move amendment No. 44:
In page 18, between lines 31 and 32, to insert the following:
“Learner Driver driving unaccompanied (Owner)
25. The Road Traffic Act 1961, is amended by the insertion of the following section:“35A.(1)It shall be an offence for the owner of a vehicle to allow their vehicle be driven by a learner driver driving unaccompanied.(2) Where a person charged with an offence under this section is the owner of the vehicle, it shall be a good defence to the charge for the person to show that the vehicle was being used without his consent and either that he had taken all reasonable precautions to prevent its being used or that it was being used by his servant acting in contravention of his orders.
(3) Where a person is guilty of an offence under this section and disregarding any disqualification that may be capable of being imposed, such person shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €2,000 or a term not exceeding six months imprisonment or both such fine and imprisonment.”.”.
The thrust of this amendment is to put the onus on a car owner not to allow a learner permit driver to drive a car. It is illegal to do so. It would help to reduce the number of unaccompanied learner drivers on the road. I do not know if there is any impediment to including this and I cannot see how there could be.
It is not identical but is very similar to what Deputy Ryan wanted to introduce. As I have already said, I have asked my officials to examine this as a serious and urgent matter, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General, whose advice is being sought as to theviresto introduce such an offence on the part of the registered owner of a vehicle. The idea has merit and my officials will also liaise with gardaí about the enforceability of such a proposal. It is a little more complicated than it looks and it has a lot of implications. There may be a more direct way of dealing with it, such as giving gardaí powers to seize and detain a vehicle. Legal advice is necessary and perhaps the Deputy, along with Deputy Ryan, can come back to this on Report Stage, which is planned for next week. A learner permit holder who drives while unaccompanied does not meet one of the key conditions attached to their permit and is, therefore, driving unlicensed. It is already an offence which carries three penalty points on payment of a fixed charge and five penalty points on conviction in court.
There is none that I know of. A convention in 2002 was the basis of this but it did not work, on account of differences among laws and in regard to issues such as timing, so it was dropped in either 2013 or 2015. Now we need new legislation to have mutual recognition with the UK.
I move amendment No. 50:
In page 21, after line 40, to insert the following:
“Repeal of section 9 of, and Schedule 2 to, Road Traffic Act 2002
26. Section 9 (as amended by section 52 of the Road Safety Authority (Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness) Act 2012) of, and the Second Schedule to, the Road Traffic Act 2002 are repealed.”.
I move amendment No. 51:
In page 22, to delete lines 1 to 38, to delete pages 23 to 25, and in page 26, to delete lines 1 to 12 and substitute the following:
AGREEMENT ON THE MUTUAL RECOGNITION OF DRIVING DISQUALIFICATIONS BETWEEN IRELAND AND THE
UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND
The Government of Ireland and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland;
Desiring to operate bi-lateral arrangements between them on the reciprocal recognition of driving disqualifications,
Have agreed as follows:
In witness whereof the undersigned, duly authorised thereto by their respective Governments, have signed this Agreement.
Done in Duplicate at Dublin this 30th day of October 2015.
|Niall A. Burgess||Dominick Chilcott|
|For the Government of Ireland:||For the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland:|
Conduct covered by Article 3 of this Agreement
1. Reckless or dangerous driving (whether or not resulting in death, injury or serious risk).
2. Wilful failure to carry out the obligations placed on drivers after being involved in road accidents.
3. Driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other substances affecting or diminishing the mental and physical abilities of a driver.
4. Refusal to submit to alcohol and drug tests
5. Driving a vehicle faster than the permitted speed
6. Driving a vehicle whilst disqualified.
7. Other conduct constituting an offence for which a driving disqualification has been imposed by the State of the offence:
a. of a duration of six months or more, or
b. of a duration of less than six months where this has been agreed between the Contracting States.”.
I move amendment No. 52:
In page 5, line 5, after “2015” to insert the following:“, to amend the Vehicle Clamping Act 2015, to give effect to the Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Driving Disqualifications between the State and the United Kingdom done at Dublin on 30 October 2015”.