Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Clare Cllr. Cathal Crowe says Minister Ross’s scaled speeding proposals will not work unless a detailed analysis is carried out on how to implement them before a Bill is introduced.

Cllr. Crowe said that the scaled proposals, agreed at cabinet last week, provide a welcome distraction for the government from the facts which show that the enforcement of existing offences and penalties has collapsed with a whopping 38% reduction in fines collected (€27m) and an incredible 90,000 in court case backlogs.

“In principal I’m in favour of a system of graduated fines and penalties, however, this must be based on international best practice. Fianna Fail wish to ensure that everything is done to reduce road fatalities and accidents. Graduated offences and penalties should be considered but they need to make sense and be implementable”, said Cllr. Crowe.

“As it stands, 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.

“Fine Gael is talking out of both sides of its mouth on this issue. Despite all of the concerns being raised about these proposals, the party is more interested in keeping Shane Ross onside to extend its time in government. Here in Clare the irony is not lost, while Joe Carey criticises his party colleague Minister Pat Breen locally, he inevitably ends up voting with his fellow backbench TDs in favour of government proposals.

“Minister Ross should be focussing on ensuring that the current legislation is being enforced properly, which is blatantly not the case. Only 38% of fines in relation to speeding have been collected while our courts system is clogged with over 90,000 cases.

“Minister Ross is trying to heap extra pressure on a dysfunctional system. He needs to get his house in order and make enforcement of current laws a priority,” concluded Cllr. Crowe.