Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Road Safety Strategy

Photo of Timmy DooleyTimmy Dooley (Clare, Fianna Fail)
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501. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on measures to exculpate penalty points for those who are willing to undergo a series of road safety classes at their own expense in order to improve their driving skills and safety awareness; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47302/14]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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The introduction of driving awareness courses is something that my Department is willing to consider under the umbrella of alternative sentencing options.

Action 107 of the Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020 states that, subject to legal advice, my Department should, with the support of the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Department of Justice and Equality, legislate for rehabilitation and driving awareness courses as court-based sentencing options for specific offenders, which should then be implemented. 

The RSA is developing proposals on this Action at present and I am awaiting the conclusions before considering what steps might then be taken.  The idea behind alternative sentencing is to explore more effective ways of dealing with repeat offenders, but not with very serious offences such as dangerous driving causing death, where prison would still be the appropriate penalty.  It is likely that these courses, if introduced in the future, would be in addition to, and not in place of, the allocation of penalty points.


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