Thursday, 18 October 2007
Department of Transport
Question 152: To ask the Minister for Transport if he will report on recent meetings with the Road Safety Authority; and if he has raised or intends to raise the issue of initiating legislation regarding the usage of bicycle helmets for all cyclists. [24597/07]
The consensus of public authorities concerned with road safety has been that the wearing of helmets by cyclists is best promoted on a voluntary basis by way of educational and publicity campaigns as opposed to going down the regulation route of compelling compulsory use. There are no legislative proposals under consideration to make it mandatory for all cyclists to wear helmets and to thereby bring the matter into the remit of the criminal law code.
Under the Road Safety Authority Act 2006 (Conferral of Functions) Order 2006 (S.I. No 477 of 2006) the Road Safety Authority has now responsibility for the promotion and awareness of road safety including the promotion of safety for cyclists. The new Rules of the Road book that was published last March and a copy distributed to each household countrywide contains expanded advice and recommendations to cyclists in relation to the use of protective equipment and recommends that a helmet be worn at all times.
Question 153: To ask the Minister for Transport his views on the specifications including speed capacity of vehicles imported into the State; if he will meet the key manufacturers and distributors of the major marques which dominate the Irish market; and if he plans to upgrade safety specifications for vehicles sold here. [24614/07]
The EU Type Approval System provides for a harmonised structure for motor vehicles. Vehicles which meet these standards have access to all EU markets. Under the Road Safety Authority Act 2006 (Conferral of Functions) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 477 of 2006) the issue of vehicle standards including type approval is now a matter for the Road Safety Authority. Any discussions with the motoring sector and the preparation of any proposals on safety specifications would be a matter for the Authority in the first instance.