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Saturday 21 September 2019

Dangerous drivers should resit tests, says RSA

Paul Hyland

DANGEROUS drivers will be forced to resit their driving tests under new proposals from the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

Repeat offenders also face the prospect of being banned from driving at certain times of the day.

RSA chief executive Noel Brett said yesterday that proposals on tackling dangerous drivers, which would give judges "additional sentencing options", had been sent to the Department of Transport.

While judges can currently impose fines, penalty points and disqualifications on drivers, Mr Brett said they may be able to go further in the future. Legislation would be needed to force through the changes, he added.

"The judge might require the driver to retake their driving test or undertake additional tuition and come back to court and show that they had done that," he told the Irish Independent.

"They could, in certain circumstances, put a curfew on the driver and say they may not drive at certain hours, or they could prohibit them from carrying passengers."

Mr Brett was speaking at an awards ceremony yesterday to celebrate schoolchildren's commitment to road safety.

More than 200 children from 10 primary schools gathered in Dublin for the 'Ho-Glo Silver' and 'Seatbelt Sheriff' awards.

One of the runners-up was Kayleigh Cooper (8), from Scoil Oilibheir in Blanchardstown, Dublin. She drew a picture of a woman crossing the road with the message: "Be safe and be seen when you're going out walking in light clothes."

Kayleigh and her class were entertained by magicians and clowns in Dublin Castle before going to Dublin Zoo.

"We're all very proud of Kayleigh and the whole class," her teacher, Marie Ni Riannaigh, said.

Awards

The awards are designed to teach children good road-safety habits. More than 55,000 classes have taken part.

In spite of the historic low of 186 road deaths last year, Mr Brett said most of these could have been avoided.

He also ruled out forcing elderly drivers caught breaking traffic laws to undergo training, as is proposed in the UK.

He said it was up to individual drivers to ensure that their abilities were up to scratch.

"Take responsibility for that yourself. Don't wait, and don't look to the State," he said.

"We don't want to live in a nanny state where we legislate for every single thing and everything is mandatory."

Irish Independent

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