Wednesday 23 January 2019

State misses own driver test deadline

Minister for Transport Pascal Donohoe
Minister for Transport Pascal Donohoe
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

A ROAD safety campaign group has criticised the Government after it missed its own target date for the introduction of blood tests for unconscious drivers involved in collisions.

The Department of Transport had hoped to close off the loophole, which prevents motorists from being tested while unconscious in hospital, by the end of September.

But the deadline has been missed and officials could not say yesterday when the new law would be in force.

Under road traffic legislation introduced last February, it is planned that doctors will be able to test drivers for intoxication even if they are unconscious and therefore cannot give their consent. A spokesman for Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe, pictured, said the department had hoped to have a number of new sections of the Road Traffic Act commenced by September 30.

However, he said the department was still waiting for the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel to finalise regulations.

Susan Gray, chairperson of the PARC Road Safety Group, said the delay was "deeply disappointing".

"This law was promised in 2010. When the President signed the new Act into law in February we were assured the only hold up was that guidelines had to be sent to all GPs and all hospitals.

"But now we learn there is another hurdle," she added.

Irish Independent

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