Deputy Broughan has been calling for the consolidation of all Road Traffic Acts for some time now. He has been supporting the excellent civic society group, PARC (Promoting Awareness, Responsibility and Care on our Roads), led by Ms Susan Gray, in their calls for a consolidation project and recently appeared on RTÉ This Week discussing the need for consolidation. Deputy Broughan and PARC believe that road traffic law is confusing, ad hoc and lacks clarity for the general public and even the legal profession.
The Minister’s performance on this issue has been appalling and very disappointing. He is clearly a party to what will happen to public transport in the future because he is the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. He is the Minister. He seems to have forgotten that simple fact. He has been prepared to allow 100,000 people to wait morning after morning for this strike to be resolved and for 2,600 workers to have their pay and conditions slashed by 30% or more with threats to hundreds of jobs. He has sat there doing nothing like a hurler on the ditch or like a journalist observing things rather than taking action. He is a party to this; there is no question.
I understand the director of the Road Safety Authority, RSA, was in the House this morning. Since 2013, the authority has been responsible for administering driving licences through the National Driver Licence Service, NDLS. According to figures that were released in 2015, approximately 96% of drivers who are disqualified in court do not surrender their licences. The Irish Times recently reported on RSA figures that show “there are almost 8,000 drivers on Ireland’s roads who have multiple concurrent disqualifications on their licences but continue to flout the law by driving”. I have asked the Minister about this matter previously.
Deputy Tommy Broughan today echoes the praise of PARC (Promoting Awareness, Responsibility and Care on our Roads) for the comments made by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, on the need to crack down on those who drink and drive. 187 people tragically lost their lives on Irish roads during 2016, which was an increase of 25 from the previous year. Thousands of others were seriously injured. Figures show that the Gardaí arrested more than 730 people for drink driving over the Christmas period this year which was an increase of 34% on the same period in 2015.
Deputy Tommy Broughan is calling on Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, to come out of hiding and do his Ministerial duty by urgently working towards a resolution in the Dublin Bus dispute. The second week of work stoppages will begin at 9pm tonight and traffic chaos will ensue for the coming two days. This follows a 2 day stoppage last week and Deputy Broughan has contacted Minister Ross directly calling for action.