Road Traffic Bill 2016

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maxresdefaultRoad Traffic Bill 2016

New legislation has been passed as part of the road Traffic Bill 2016 which is to bring in many new changes to the law with regard to road traffic safety.

Driving disqualifications

The new road traffic bill will give effect to an agreement with the UK on mutual recognition of driver disqualifications. This was signed last October 2015.

Under the passed legislation, if a driver is disqualified in the UK they are automatically disqualified from driving abroad, as they do not have a valid licence. However, if a driver from the UK is disqualified from driving in Ireland, the ban applies only in this country.

Shane Ross, the Minister of Transport said the new agreement between Ireland and the UK will “ensure that dangerous drivers who are a risk to the public are kept off the roads in both jurisdictions”.

20km/h speed limit

The bill also allows local authorities to impose a special speed limit of 20km/h in built-up areas. This will be in addition to the existing possible speed limits for built-up areas of 50km/h, 40km/h and 30km/h.

This new speed limit option has been introduced following the Jake’s Legacy campaign.

“This was set up following the tragic death of six-year-old Jake Brennan who was killed in a road traffic incident in the housing estate where he lived. A new special speed limit of 20km/hour is now being made available for local authorities to impose where they see fit,” Ross said.

Uninsured drivers

Minister Ross said the increasing number of uninsured drivers on Irish roads “is a huge concern”.

One of the issues identified to tackle this problem has been the Garda Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system which is reliant on information provided by the insurance industry in respect of insured drivers.

While this data set has proven to be unreliable to date, the department said the bill “provides for detailed information that the insurance industry must now provide which will address this exact issue”.

“This is a very vital provision which will allow for the establishment of the Insured and Uninsured Database by Insurance Ireland and MIBI which will provide reliable data to An Garda Síochána to enable them to detect uninsured drivers and take them off our roads,”.


Main points of new legislation:

  • Insurers legally required to notify the minister within 5 days if a vehicle is mechanically written off. The minister can then publish this data as he sees fit and charge a fee for it.

  • Drugs now randomly tested for along with alcohol so Mandatory Alcohol Testing (MAT) checkpoints will now be Mandatory Intoxication Testing (MIT) checkpoints.

  • 20 kilometres per hour is now a legal speed limit.

  • No more discretion allowed for Gardai with fixed charge offenses, " by substituting “the member shall serve” for “the member may serve”

  • If you don't pay the fixed penalty, when you get the court summons from a Garda, you'll then have until 7 days before court date to pay double the original fine. If you do, the case may be dropped.

  • Cyclists legally required to give details to Gardai.

  • 2 penalty points for towing a trailer over 3500kg without a licence it's 2

  • 1 penalty point for driving in a cycle lane.

  • Allowing your car to be driven by an unaccompanied learner will be a crime unless they stole the car. At a max €2k fine/6 months jail.

  • The NTA are now responsible for creating regulations for vehicle clamping.

  • Disqualified driver information to be shared between Ireland and the UK.


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