16/12/2015

Government Publishes Road Traffic Bill 2015

The government has approved the publication of the Road Traffic Bill 2015, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has announced.

The main provisions of the Bill include:

• A new offence of driving/being in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle with the presence of certain illicit drugs – cannabis, cocaine, and heroin – in your blood.

• Provision for preliminary testing of oral fluid for drugs by An Garda Síochána at the roadside or in a Garda station.

• Creation of a new option for local authorities to impose a special speed limit of 20km/h in built-up areas.

• Provision to give effect to agreement with the UK on mutual recognition of driver disqualifications.

• A number of miscellaneous and technical amendment.

"The measures I am proposing in this Bill will make a serious contribution to road safety in a number of areas. In particular, I would like to draw attention to the growing issue of driving under the influence of drugs. This is an area where the law needs strengthening," Minister Donohoe said.

"The measures I am proposing will provide the Gardaí with the necessary tools to address this unacceptable and dangerous practice. At the same time, I must emphasize that we all share a responsibility for road safety, and when we get behind the wheel it is up to us as drivers to act in a safe and responsible way."

(MH/CD)

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