Thursday, 28 April 2005
Driver Testing and Standards Authority Bill 2004: Second Stage (Resumed).
Bernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
This subject is of particular interest to me as I was spokesman on this area many years ago, possibly before the Minister was first elected to the House. As most people know, I am somewhat cynical by nature. I cannot understand why it has taken so long to introduce a Bill, which concentrates on the need to ensure a high level of driver knowledge not only in respect of the rules of the road but in the theory of driving a vehicle, including the marriage between the vehicle, its speed and the road conditions. Nothing should be taken in isolation. The quality of the vehicle, its speed, the knowledge and judgment of the driver and the road conditions, some of which are appalling, need to be taken into account.
As I recently said in this House, in some locations up to 25 and 30 people have been killed, theoretically because they were wrong as a result of speeding, faults in the car or errors of judgment. Has it ever occurred to anyone that something might have also been wrong with the road? I do not wish to comment too lightly on this topic. A particular accident took place on a very prominent roadway not a million miles from the centre of this city in recent weeks. This was not the first such accident to take place there. Driver error is being blamed for that accident. I do not believe driver error was the only contributory factor. The design, camber and condition of the road as well as the volume of traffic on it at the time all contribute.
Many years ago I made a suggestion regarding the theory on driving.