Dáil debates

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

Road Traffic and Transport Bill 2006 [Seanad]: Committee and Remaining Stages

 

SECTION 1.

12:00 pm

Jerry Cowley (Mayo, Independent)
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Amendments Nos. 1 and 5 form a composite proposal and will be discussed together.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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I move amendment No. 1:

In page 5, lines 27 and 28, to delete subsection (2).

Photo of Martin CullenMartin Cullen (Minister, Department of Transport; Waterford, Fianna Fail)
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The purpose of this amendment is to move the collective citation provision from section 1 to section 3. The Bill is effectively split into two distinct sections. Section 1 amends Part 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1994 and section 2 relates to road transport issues. In the circumstances, the advice of the parliamentary counsel was that the reference to the collective citation "Road Traffic Acts 1961 to 2006" to include section 1 of the Bill should be part of that section and the same approach is taken in section 2. That is the way it is done in order not to confuse the issue.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Section 1 agreed to.

Section 2 agreed to.

Jerry Cowley (Mayo, Independent)
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Amendment No. 2 is out of order because it is outside the scope of the Bill.

Photo of Olivia MitchellOlivia Mitchell (Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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Why is it out of order?

Jerry Cowley (Mayo, Independent)
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Deputy Olivia Mitchell seeks to amend section 5(3)(ii) of the Road Traffic Act 1961, which relates to dangerous driving rather than drink driving. While the amendment relates to the general subject matter, it does not fall within the provisions of the Bill. The amendment, therefore, must be ruled out of order.

Photo of Olivia MitchellOlivia Mitchell (Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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I do not know how anything could fall outside the scope of this Bill because it has no scope. It is only a mish-mash. However, I will find another way to bring this forward because it is an important issue. It falls neatly within this legislation because it deals with a loophole, a genuine legislative mistake and oversight, but I accept the ruling.

Amendment No. 2 not moved.

NEW SECTION.

Photo of Olivia MitchellOlivia Mitchell (Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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I move amendment No. 3:

In page 7, before section 3, to insert the following new section:

3.—The Minister shall, as soon as is practicable, begin the process of producing a Road Traffic Consolidation Act that will act as a consolidated statute of all road traffic legislation.".

This is a reference to consolidation. Will the Minister accept the amendment?

Photo of Martin CullenMartin Cullen (Minister, Department of Transport; Waterford, Fianna Fail)
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I cannot insert it in the legislation, as the Deputy will appreciate, but I have given her full support for what she proposes and we have begun the process.

Photo of Olivia MitchellOlivia Mitchell (Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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I welcome that and withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Jerry Cowley (Mayo, Independent)
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Amendment No. 4 is out of order because it is outside the scope of the Bill.

Photo of Olivia MitchellOlivia Mitchell (Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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The Minister has expressed genuine general support for this notion. When can something be done about it because it is causing many problems throughout the country?

Photo of Martin CullenMartin Cullen (Minister, Department of Transport; Waterford, Fianna Fail)
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I have met groups, as the Deputy has, and it is an issue I want to address. However, it is complex legally and I do not mean to use that as an excuse. I am anxious to address it. We have met staff in the Attorney General's office. We are waiting for a legal framework and an interpretation of what we need to do to correct it. Various groups have visited my office and I stated that once I have that, I will tell them what it is. Submissions will be taken if people feel the need to put them forward. I hope to deal with the issue in the new Bill I will introduce in the next few months if the process can be completed quickly. I support addressing this issue. There are issues on the traffic side that complicate this from the Garda's point of view and those need to be resolved.

Photo of Olivia MitchellOlivia Mitchell (Dublin South, Fine Gael)
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Will the Minister keep us posted on that?

Photo of Martin CullenMartin Cullen (Minister, Department of Transport; Waterford, Fianna Fail)
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Yes.

Amendment No. 4 not moved.

SECTION 3.

Photo of Kathleen LynchKathleen Lynch (Cork North Central, Labour)
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I move amendment No. 5:

In page 7, after line 36, to insert the following subsection:

"(2) The collective citation "Road Traffic Acts 1961 to 2006" includes section 1.".

I have no difficulty with the Minister's suggestion regarding the citation in this amendment and amendment No. 1 but I would like him to put that in writing to Deputy Shortall. I would appreciate that very much.

Photo of Martin CullenMartin Cullen (Minister, Department of Transport; Waterford, Fianna Fail)
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I will forward the note to the Deputy.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Section 3 agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Bill received for final consideration.

Photo of Martin CullenMartin Cullen (Minister, Department of Transport; Waterford, Fianna Fail)
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I move: "That the Bill do now pass."

I thank all my officials, the Attorney General and his officials, the Whips and Members for facilitating the quick passage of the legislation and their support for it.

Question put and agreed to.