Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Proposed Legislation

Photo of Tommy BroughanTommy Broughan (Dublin North East, Labour)
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To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when the proposed new Road Traffic Bill will be published; the main new measures comprised in the Bill including any proposed new penalty point offences, including reduced thresholds for learner drivers, N-plates for new drivers for a period of two years and the non-display of L-plates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57250/12]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The Government approved the General Scheme of the new Road Traffic Bill for formal drafting on 11 December 2012. The next step is for the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel to examine the General Scheme in consultation with my officials, with a view to producing a formal draft of the Bill. The General Scheme has been published on my Department's website. It is in the nature of such examination and drafting that it is not possible to predict in advance how long this process may take.

The Bill will address a range of issues. These include creating a new category of Novice Drivers who will have to display an 'N' plate, and reducing the threshold for automatic six months disqualification for learners and novices from twelve penalty points to six. Provision will also be made to provide for evidential non-technical impairment tests (e.g. walking a straight line) that may be used in court, and there will be a new procedure to allow for the taking of a blood sample, subject to medical approval, from an unconscious driver following a serious road traffic collision.

I am also including measures arising out of the penalty points review conducted earlier this year. This involves adjustments to the penalty points applying for a number of offences. Penalty points will also apply in future for learners and novices for non-display of 'L' or 'N' plates.

The Bill will also include a number of minor and technical amendments.


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