Fianna Fáil TD for Tipperary Jackie Cahill has called for a detailed analysis on the government’s proposals on scaled penalties for speeding. He was reacting to the measures announced by Minister Shane Ross and approved by the Cabinet earlier this week.
Deputy Cahill said, “I am not opposed to graduated penalties for speeding, but the practice must be proportional and enforceable. I don’t believe the measures being put forward by Minster Ross are fair or workable. That’s why I am calling for a detailed analysis to be carried out before these proposals come before the Dáil.
“Road safety has always been a priority for Fianna Fáil – it was my party in government which established the Road Safety Authority – and we will continue to work to reduce road deaths and accidents. However, I have genuine concerns about these new proposals.
“Minister Ross’s proposals could see a situation where a driver going 10km over the speed limit outside a school on a village street in a 30km zone will carry the same penalty as those travelling 10km over the limit on a motorway with a limit of 120km. Clearly the risk of a fatality or serious incident in an urban area is higher.
“What we should be doing instead of introducing new laws, is ensure that the current laws are being properly enforced. This is simply not happening. There has been a huge reduction in the level of fines being collected and the courts are dealing with a backlog of 90,000 cases.
“Minister Ross is more concerned in interfering in issues outside of his remit than concentrating on his own brief. Even when he does bring forward proposals within his portfolio, they are ill thought out, and in this case, unenforceable, and create a suspicion among many people living in rural Ireland that he is targeting their communities”, concluded Deputy Cahill.