Wednesday, 15 December 2004
Road Traffic Bill 2004: Report and Final Stages.
Paddy Burke (Fine Gael)
I move amendment No. 1:
In page 23, to delete lines 11 to 48 to delete page 24 and in page 25 to delete lines 1 to 24.
I welcome the Minister of State back to the House. We need to debate the insurance liability issue further. We need to consult with other bodies, particularly IBEC and the bodies involved in the insurance industry. While I appreciate the assurances officials from the Department of Transport have given me on this matter, I am not fully convinced it is appropriate to pass this legislation with this provision tagged on. It is unconnected from the main part of the Bill, which concerns speed limits.
In the event of a very serious accident involving a tram, bus or a train at one of our many unguarded level crossings, the person driving the car or lorry that might have caused the accident might believe he or she is adequately covered only to find the insurance company has set a ceiling that does not cover such an accident. The concern is that this might put his or her home or private property at risk. I understand the point made by the Minister and his officials that because of the capping, this could not occur. If it were to happen an assurance has been be given that it would need to come before the Houses of the Oireachtas. We need more dialogue and debate with the companies and IBEC, which were not consulted on the matter. It would be unimaginable to pass legislation that would put people's homes at risk.