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Road Traffic Bill not worth the paper it’s written on without funding and resources – Munster

27 September, 2016 - by Imelda Munster TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Transport, Tourism and Sport spoke this evening on the Road Traffic Bill 2015. While she broadly welcomed the Bill, which will provide for a new speed limit of 20km per hour in residential areas, introduce drug driving offences as well as some other technical matters, she also raised concerns with the Minister that the legislation would be toothless if Gardaí and local authorities were not sufficiently resourced.

Speaking tonight in the Dáil, Deputy Munster said:

“Whilst the introduction of drug driving offences for motorists and lower speed limits in residential areas is to be welcomed, it’s typical of this government to propose legislation without providing for increased resources for Gardaí and local authorities.

“The Garda Traffic Corps is already down from 1200 members to just over 700, and we have seen a sharp increase in deaths on our roads this year. It’s all well and good providing for new types of drug driving offences and testing, but we have to ensure that we have sufficient Garda resourcing to ensure that our roads are safe.

“I also welcome the fact that some aspects of Jake’s Law, which was a Bill proposed by Sinn Féin as a result of the tireless work carried out by the family of Jake Brennan, a little boy who was very sadly killed in a traffic accident in Kilkenny. The provisions don’t go far enough, and we also have to ensure that local authorities are properly resourced to ensure that all types of traffic calming measures are provided for in our housing estates and residential areas. The option of a new speed limit for local authorities is not enough.

“I sincerely hope that Minister Ross and his colleagues intend to back up this legislation with sufficient resources.  Otherwise, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.” 

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