Wednesday, 4 October 2006
Road Traffic and Transport Bill 2006 [Seanad]: Committee and Remaining Stages
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.