Govt examining new measures to tackle repeat offenders on the roads – Varadkar
Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has announced that the Government is examining a range of measures designed to tackle the problem of repeat offenders on the roads.
Minister Varadkar was speaking at the Road Safety Authority’s annual international conference on ‘Recidivist Behaviour and Driver Rehabilitation’ in Dublin Castle.
The current Road Safety Strategy recommends giving consideration to alternative ways of addressing the problem of motorists who repeatedly commit serious offences while driving. This development is on foot of research conducted by the Government and the Road Safety Authority on how best to tackle dangerous and illegal behaviour on the roads.
The Government is considering the possibility of using alcohol interlock and Intelligent Speed Assistance systems, as well as new awareness courses, in order to tackle repeat offenders.
“So far this year road deaths have been significantly below the number for the same period in 2011. However, we should regard this as a challenge rather than an achievement,” Minister Varadkar said.
“We need to find new ways of addressing the problem of repeat offenders. There is international acceptance that we need to supplement the existing system of fines, disqualification or imprisonment to tackle drivers who repeatedly commit road traffic violations.”
The Government research recommends that any new measures to tackle repeat offenders should focus on drink drivers and dangerous drivers. It also suggests that speed awareness courses could be considered for low-end speed offenders as an alternative to prosecution. The financial implications of any of these measures would need to be examined, with an emphasis on making them cost neutral to the State.
These proposals will now be considered in the context of future road traffic legislation, with the support of the Courts Service, the Gardaí and the Department of Justice and Equality.