‘Unfairness and discrimination against young people’ – TDs to file report on new road traffic laws and rural drivers

Testimony: Mattie McGrath
Testimony: Mattie McGrath

Rural TDs who opposed strict new road traffic laws are expected to submit a report on the effects of the legislation on rural learner drivers to the Department of Transport.

Independent Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath, who is part of the Rural Independent group which opposed the bill that sets out stricter drink-driving rules and new rules for learner drivers, is collecting testimony from people in his constituency for a report for the department.

Mr McGrath told the Irish Independent he expects other colleagues who opposed the bill to gather similar testimony to feed into the report.

The bill introduces a mandatory driving ban for anyone caught drink driving and also gives gardaí the power to seize any vehicle driven by an unaccompanied learner driver. A person who allows a learner to drive their car unaccompanied also faces a penalty.

Mr McGrath said the bill, championed by road safety advocates, will put motorists in rural Ireland outside the law, “despite their best efforts” to stay inside it.

“I’m hoping that someone will see the negative impact and unfairness and discrimination against young people,” he said.

Meanwhile the legislation, which faced more than 30 hours of debate in the Dáil and accusations of filibustering on the part of the rural Independents, passed through the Seanad with relative ease yesterday.

Transport Minister Shane Ross welcomed its passage, saying it will “tackle two serious problems”.

Irish Independent

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