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Ireland’s Snake-oil Merchants Remain In Control

Car Drivers categorised as Learners who drive unaccompanied could see the real owner of the car imprisoned for a duration of six months and or a €2,000 fine, if new proposals approved by our minority collision Government Cabinet becomes law. These new measures proposed would also give Gardaí the power to impound vehicles, on the spot, if same are found being driven by an unaccompanied learner.

Minister Shane Ross, that Independent politician who currently serves as Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (since May 2016), has confirmed that the new amendments will be included in the Road Traffic Amendment Bill, which is due before the House as early as next Tuesday.

Minister Ross, yes, the very same individual who supports plans of invading North Korea on a diplomatic mission to halt a nuclear Armageddon involving America and North Korea; supported by buddies Junior Enterprise Minister John Halligan, and Disability Minister Finian McGrath; envisages that this new legislation will pass into law, before politicians go on their expected 5-week Christmas recess.

Will Opposition Parties support this nonsense?
Let us take a look at An Garda Síochána’s Traffic Statistics hereunder for this year, 2017, to date.

To date, in 2017 some 130 people most regrettably have lost their lives on our Irish roads.  Of these we are informed that some 13 people, holding learner driver permits have been killed, 11 of whom we understand were driving unaccompanied by a qualified driver.

Logically, we therefore can conclude that of the 130 now deceased road users, 119 were holders of full permits or were accompanied by persons with qualified driving experience and holding full licences.

AA Ireland believe these new laws will be hard to enforce, where the misdeeds of one could end up punishing the innocent, or merely encourage those offending to become liars in courts of law, e.g. “I took the keys without the car owners permission, Your Honour.”

The real facts are that these new laws are being updated to benefit over populated areas, e.g. in 2016, Dublin (21 deaths) and Cork (21 deaths) had the highest record of road fatalities, while rural Carlow had no road mortalities. The Government therefore stands accused of criminalising people of all ages, especially those residing in rural areas, where young and old are trying to juggle college or employment, to assist in paying for education or ensuring food appears daily on the table. Here also in these rural areas many people have lost public transport facilities in their area, and are forced to use often a borrowed vehicle on which they are a named driver for insurance purposes. Delays in waiting times for Driver Testing are also criminalising those seeking educated, or attempting to obtain employment in the county.

Key findings from the 2016 Pobal HP Deprivation Index (Haase & Pratschke, 2016)
(1) Income levels are continuing to grow much more strongly in Dublin than other parts of the country with rural towns with a population under 5,000 benefiting less from the Irish economic recovery.
(2) Affluence is highest in the urban peripheries and gradually declines as one moves towards rural locations.
(3) Dublin has fared the best over the past 10 years, being less impacted by the effects of the recession, as well as disproportionately benefiting from the recent years of recovery.
(4) Small towns (1,000 – 5,000 people) have been the worst affected over the past ten years, being disproportionately hit by the recession and benefiting less from the recovery than the most urban and the most rural areas.

While we have every sympathy for individuals and their families, who have lost a loved one in a motoring accident, it should be remembered that almost 1 in 4 of all those deceased drivers and passengers are found to be not wearing a seatbelt.  Take a look at the figures, shown above, for ‘Driving while Intoxicated’; ‘Mobile Phone Use’ while driving, and of course ‘Speeding’.

The introduction of a new €2,000 motoring fine, must surely be recognised as a further tax gathering scam by this government. If it is not, then why has a rule not been put in place where all cars propelled by L and N plated drivers, must be regulated by a Speed Governor.

Today, believe it or not, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz limit their production cars to a speed of 250 kilometres per hour (155 mph). So, why are not cars; propelled by L and N plated drivers, limited to 96.56 kilometres per hour (60mph), during the time these plates are required for display purposes? Why are motorists who are caught speeding, (latter a danger to fellow motorists and Learner and Novice drivers) not forced to put Speed Governors on their cars for a 12-month period, instead of receiving a fixed charge fine of €80, together with 3 penalty points? No, there is no revenue to be gained from the installation of Speed Governors.

Obviously, Mr Ross is more under pressure to invade Mr Kim Jong-un’s North Korea, than he is interested in solving real basic problems in his own Transport Ministry.

By the way, it is also interesting to note, (not that it matters in today’s numbed society) but there were 140 deaths among our Irish homeless population over the four-year period, between 2011 and 2014, (54 homeless men and women died in 2014 – a rate of more than one a week, and 4 in just one week of the current year), none of which were found driving cars.  No quick financial solutions with our minority government here then, but perhaps we could also fine or imprison their family members.

Next election perhaps we as voters might place out ‘tick’ in the box of a real legislator, instead of selecting ‘headline grabbing’, ‘snake-oil merchants’, as one of our governing 158 overpaid public reps.

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