independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Motorists facing tough new rules 'to save lives'

TOUGH new rules which will put learners and newly qualified drivers off the road after just six penalty points will go before Cabinet today.

Details of the Road Traffic Bill will be unveiled to ministers as part of measures aimed at reducing carnage on our roads.

Details of the measures were first revealed by the Irish Independent last October.

Another controversial measure gives gardai the power to have doctors take blood samples from unconscious drivers involved in serious road-traffic collisions, which can later be tested for alcohol.

It also includes a requirement that newly-qualified drivers display an 'N' for 'novice' plate for two years after passing their test.

Other proposals include an increase in penalty points for speeding (up from two to four), phone use (from two to three or four) and failing to wear a seatbelt (from two to three).

Penalty points may also be introduced for drivers who fail to display L or N plates.

Currently, drivers must get 12 points before being banned but these new drivers will be limited to six.

The move comes in part to reduce the carnage on our roads. So far this year, 154 people have died, which is down 20 on the same period in 2011.

The bill is expected to become law by next summer after going through the Houses of the Oireachtas.

Irish Independent

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