Tuesday 25 October 2016

Gardaí look for €50 spot fines for drivers failing to carry emergency packs

Published 21/09/2015 | 08:49

The major of road collisions happen in rural areas according to gardaí
The major of road collisions happen in rural areas according to gardaí

Motorists could be facing a new €50 fine if they fail to carry emergency roadside equipment such as high-visibility vests and first-aid kits.

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The Garda Commissioner has proposed the creation of a new road traffic offence with on the spot fines to penalise drivers who fail to carry these items in their cars while driving.

Documents released to RTÉ under the Freedom of Information Act show gardaí want to make it an offence for drivers not to have a working torch, breakdown triangle, high-visibility vest, first-aid kit and a fire extinguisher at all times while driving.

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The items would cost Irish drivers around €40-50. 

The mandatory requirement of emergency packs is intended to improving road safety, particularly in rural areas where emergency services struggle to reach collisions in a timely manner.

Previously the Road Safety Authority held a public consultation about the possible introduction of emergency packs in private cars. 

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As part of this, the Garda Commissioner asked to comment no this and,  in the correspondence released to RTÉ, her office recommended Ireland should introduce legislation to make it compulsory to carry emergency packs in cars. 

The new rule would be similar to that in France.

It is understood that penalty points could be considered at a later stage to help with enforcement, the office added.

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