Young Male Drivers are Living in a “Fool’s Paradise”

Transport Minister Shane Ross told how young male drivers are drinking too much and living in a “fool’s paradise,” after a dramatic rise in the number of road deaths from 2015 to 2016.

Young Male Drivers are Living in a Fool’s Paradise

187 people lost their life last year on Irish Roads in 175 accidents, 25 more people than 2015. Cork and Dublin recorded the highest number of fatalities with 21 each, followed by Limerick with 16. The Alliance Minister told RTE's News at One this was “completely and utterly unacceptable” and is calling for tougher laws for drink-drivers in a bid to curb this “endemic” problem.

Mr Ross admitted he is “very saddened” by such a huge loss of life as these figures represent someone's son, daughter, brother, sister, father or mother.

Fresh legislation and increased Garda numbers will now be considered, Mr Ross confirmed, including naming and shaming offenders and lowering alcohol limits. The current legal limit is 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood for all drivers however the PARC Road Safety Group is calling for a zero-tolerance policy and disqualification for all drink-drivers.

The Road Safety Authority has suggested publishing drink-driver details in a like manner to how Revenue publishes names of people who have failed to correctly pay their taxes.

Mr Ross confirmed that other methods may be considered including increased penalties or points and longer driving bans, as well as abolishing the special concession of a €200 fine for first-time drink-driving offenders. PARC Road Safety Group welcomed Mr Ross’s plans to “stop carnage on the road” after concluding this compromise is not helping law abiding road users.

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