Saturday 3 December 2016

Drink drivers could be forced to resit tests

Published 11/06/2016 | 02:30

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) says questions on drinking and driving will be included on the Driver Theory Test for motorcycles, cars and work vehicles.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) says questions on drinking and driving will be included on the Driver Theory Test for motorcycles, cars and work vehicles.
Moyagh Murdock: 'fear factor'. Photo: PA

Convicted drink drivers face having to resit their driving test under new plans being examined for the Department of Transport by the Road Safety Authority.

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Another proposal being looked at is to 'name and shame' those convicted.

The possibility of a driving-test resit was raised by the RSA's chief executive Moyagh Murdock as latest figures show how big a role alcohol plays in the deaths of young drivers each year.

Part of the reason for the level of drink-driving is the absence of the "fear factor", she said. She blamed cutbacks in the Garda Traffic Corps for this.

Ms Murdock told the Women@SIMI conference in Dublin: "There is no fear of getting caught because the Traffic Corps has been reduced to skeleton levels.

"Some people are not afraid of drinking and driving. Pub car parks are full at night and empty the next morning - so people are driving after drinking."

She said drink-driving is the major challenge at the moment, and new ways to tackle it were being examined.

A recent RSA report found that alcohol was a factor in 38pc of collisions; 50pc of those who died were under 25; and 90pc of those were young men.

She also highlighted concern over the level of dangerous driving in some parts of the country. She spoke of 'secret codes' where a flash of the headlights can mean there is road-racing planned for a certain location.

She spoke about "a lot of fraud" surrounding older vehicles used in such events, which can lead to a lethal cocktail of road racing, cars in poor condition, and drink drivers.

Also at the conference, Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty said she can't understand why it takes so long to get things done in the Dáil. She said institutions almost step in front of them and block them.

Ms Doherty said even "urgent" matters can still take years to be processed and said she hopes to improve that in her role as Chief Whip.

She spoke of how good ideas from Opposition politicians had been ignored in the past - and then often regurgitated by the relevant minister.

Irish Independent

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