Monday 18 December 2017

Publicans group 'downplaying' lives of road crash victims to an 'insignificant statistics' - RSA

Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority Moyagh Murdock Picture: PA
Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority Moyagh Murdock Picture: PA

Kathy Armstrong

The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland downplays the lives of people who died in road accidents by reducing them to "an insignificant statistic", the Road Safety Authority has claimed.

The RSA's CEO Moyagh Murdock backed the  Road Traffic (Fixed Penalty-Drink Driving) Bill 2017, which calls for anyone caught driving with a blood alcohol level of 51-80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to automatically lose their licence for three months.

She said: "The VFI have attempted to downplay the value of the lives of these people, as well as the lives of their families, by reducing them to an insignificant statistic."

Ms Murdock was speaking as she appeared before the  Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport this morning and she stressed why she thinks the proposed legislation could save lives.

She said: "The RSA’s Pre-Crash Report on Alcohol, which the Vintners Federation have presented in their statement, shows that 8 drivers and motorcyclists involved in fatal collisions, for whom a blood alcohol reading was available had a BAC between 51mg and 80mg.

"A further 17 drivers and motorcyclists had a BAC below 50mg/100ml.
"There was therefore a total of 25 drivers and motorcyclists with a confirmed BAC between 21mg and 80mg who were responsible for killing themselves and/or others because they consumed alcohol."

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)

Read More: 'I'm grateful I didn't kill anyone when I used to drink and drive'

Ms Moyagh hit out at the VFI - who oppose the Bill - as she claimed the group are "disingenuous" and "show a lack of understanding" when it comes to drink-driving.

She said: "Alcohol, even in small quantities, immediately affects the brain.

"Effects on the human body and behaviour range from anaesthesia after large amounts of alcohol to impairment of behavioural and cognitive capabilities after small doses.

"Alcohol may also decrease motivation to comply with safety standards, which may result in an active search for dangerous situations (such as competitive behaviour, or excessive speed).

"In general, all functions which are important in the safe operation of a motor vehicle can be affected by the levels of alcohol well below current legal limits operating in EU countries."

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