Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Foster to move on all Ireland recognition of driver penalty points

10 January, 2008

Sinn Féin MLA, Cathal Boylan, the party's road safety spokesperson and vice-Chair of the Environment committee has welcomed the Ministers presentation to the committee this morning on her plans for road safety and news that the mutual recognition of penalty points will be implemented within a months.

Mr Boylan said:

"The minister outlined some of her plans for going forward and updated us on various matters. It is hoped the cross border mutual recognition of penalty points will be implemented within a months which links in to Sinn Fein's call for All Ireland co-operation on road safety.

"There is also a possibility that the 2012 road safety strategy will be reviewed before then and a comprehensive action report drawn up to see how we are doing in relation to the initial targets set.

"Importantly for Sinn Féin, the lowering of the drink drive limit is also to be reviewed, with it perhaps being lowered to 50mgs - 20mgs for first time drivers. Though, in our pursuit of zero tolerance, we would like to see all drivers being reduced to the minimum.

"We had hoped insurance companies would also offer real incentives for people who took the advanced driving test, but that seems to be off the agenda at this time.

"We would hope any initiatives that could come about in any review will be incorporated with other agencies or bodies to encourage drivers to improve their driving.

"I am also pleased the Minister has taken into account the party's suggestion that driving lessons and tests should be conducted in different traffic and weather conditions, and hope this comes to fruition.

"Finally, the Minister said she was 'minded' to initiate on-the-spot fines for migrant workers, her reasons for doing so, in that a high number move on without paying fines or attending court, seem valid, but a lot more thought is needed as this could cause problems with one section of the community being treated differently from the other.

"The Minister's presentation only represents a start. I believe we cannot afford to stand still on this important issue, the key to reducing the carnage on our roads is through education and increased cross border co-operation." ENDS

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