Committee to Examine Proposed New Road Safety Legislation

Synopsis: The Committee for the Environment has begun its scrutiny of legislation that will propose a range of new measures to improve road safety in Northern Ireland.

Session: 2013/2014

Date: 28 May 2014

Reference: ENV 05/13/14

The Committee for the Environment has begun its scrutiny of legislation that will propose a range of new measures to improve road safety in Northern Ireland.

The Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill proposes the introduction of a lower blood alcohol limit for drivers, with a more stringent limit for new drivers and professional drivers. It also proposes changes for learner drivers through its reform of driver training and testing, as well as restrictions on new drivers.

Committee Chairperson Anna Lo said: "The Committee wholeheartedly supports any efforts to improve safety on our roads. We know only too well the devastation caused by road traffic accidents – lives can change in an instant, and the sad fact is that many accidents are entirely avoidable.

Ms Lo continued: "Statistics show that young drivers are at a much higher risk of being involved in a car accident than older drivers, so we welcome measures to address the particular challenges around young and inexperienced drivers. Likewise, we are pleased to see a requirement for quad bike users to wear helmets while on a public road, especially given the increase in the popularity of quad bikes. We are also keen to consider the proposals to tackle the scourge of drink driving; drink drivers put themselves and others at risk when they get behind the wheel."

Ms Lo concluded: "The job that lies ahead for the Committee is to examine thoroughly the proposals in the legislation to establish how they will work in practice and how effective they will be. We look forward to studying the Bill in detail and to hearing evidence from a range of organisations and individuals. Ultimately, the Committee and the public must have confidence that this legislation will do what it sets out to do, which is to tackle ongoing problem driving and to make our roads a safer place for everyone."

ENDS

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