Important Notices/ Updates

Changes to Identification Required for Driver Theory Test

 From 1st June 2017, there will be a change in the identification requirements for any person sitting the Driver Theory Test.

 From this date onwards, at the time of booking the theory test (or CPC Exam/ ADI exam), customers will be asked to confirm that they possess a Public Services Card. In order to book the theory test (or CPC Exam) customers will need to provide the 12-digit Card Number from the rear of their Public Services Card.

 From the 17th June, all customers attending the Driver Theory Test Centre for their theory test (or Driver CPC Case Study/ADI exam) must present a valid Public Services Card as proof of ID.

 Failure to produce the card at the test centre for a booked appointment will result in the applicant being unable to sit the test and losing the test fee.

 In the test centre, the only acceptable form of ID will be the Public Services Card. The card will be used to verify name, PPS number and identity of the person attending for the test.  Customers will need to ensure that the spelling of the name in which they book their test matches exactly the spelling of their name on the card.

 Theory tests can be taken at 42 test centre locations around the country as part of the Road Safety Authority’s driver testing and licensing process.

 For customers who need to apply for a Public Services Card, information can be found on the Department of Social Protection website – www.welfare.ie . Any queries regarding the Public Service Card should be directed to the Department of Social Protection, either through the website, by calling into a local Intreo Centre (social welfare local office) or by telephone to 1890 927 999 or 01 7043281.

 The RSA will be running an awareness campaign to inform Driver Theory Test applicants of the upcoming changes across press, online and social media.

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Gardai and RSA Targeting Drink Driving Behaviour following Rise in Road Deaths and Approach of Killer Months

An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) are implementing a major enforcement and education offensive during July and August that will target Drink Driving behaviour on the country’s roads.

The road safety push is being mounted as casualty figures show that road deaths have risen by 15% in 2016. Of concern too is the fact that July and August (19 and 14 deaths respectively in 2015) are among the most dangerous months of the year and is a high risk period for drink driving.

A total of 87* people have died on the roads since the beginning of the year, 10 more deaths compared to the same date last year. There has also been a 50% rise in deaths at weekends, again a time traditionally associated with drink driving.

The planned campaign comes as preliminary findings from a new report from the National Drug Related Death Index (NDRDI), part of the Health Research Board reveals that 32% of drivers who died in 2013 were drink driving. The NDRDI report confirms the findings of the RSA’s recent Pre-Crash Report on Alcohol, which was published in early June and found that alcohol was a factor in 38% of all fatal crashes. Of this 38%, a drink driver accounted for 29% of these crashes between 2008 and 2012.

Speaking about the rise in deaths and their planned enforcement campaign for July and August, Superintendent Con O’Donohue, Garda National Traffic Bureau said “Everyone, including the authorities must take all necessary and urgent steps to reverse the upward trend in road deaths. For our part An Garda Síochána is increasing its day to day enforcement activity in July and August. Specifically we have added 7 national 24 hour drink driving operations to our operations plan for these months. We are placing a particular emphasis on targeting drink driving late at night over weekends. My colleagues around the country will put additional effort into targeting those counties that have a track record of drink driving related fatalities.”

The top counties in the country for drink driving related fatalities include Cork (10.6%), Galway (9.7%), Dublin (7.9%), Donegal (7.6%) and Cavan (5.5%). County Cork also accounts for nearly a fifth all road deaths in the country this year (16 deaths).

Superintendent O’Donohue added that “We are asking everyone to think ahead and, if intending to have a drink when they go out, plan how to get home. If you’re going to drink when you go out then the only safe option is to leave the car at home so that you won’t be tempted to get behind the wheel with alcohol on board. I also appeal to people who see someone who has been drinking getting behind the wheel to drive a vehicle, to report it immediately to the Gardaí. The Gardaí cannot be on every street corner that’s why we need the support of the community to help tackle this killer behaviour. Your positive actions could save a life.”

Ms Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority, speaking about the RSA’s plans said, “The RSA will be supporting An Garda Síochána’s drink driving enforcement blitz with an awareness effort that includes a radio, online and poster campaign targeting pubs and clubs nationwide. Our message, which is particularly aimed at young people, is not to let your summertime turn to tragedy, not to let the local roads you drive become lethal because of stupid, reckless choices you made. Choices that could affect you for the rest of your life if you are involved in a drink driving incident. We want people to think of the possible consequences. A drink driving disqualification could affect your employment prospects, you may never be able to travel to the US or face a lifetime of shame from having someone’s serious injury or death on your conscience.”

Ms Murdock concluded by expressing her deep concern over the increase in road deaths this year. She said, “This is a worrying development and the RSA is determined to work with its partners in road safety and to do all in its power to reverse this trend. However, without the support and buy in from the public, to take responsibility for their behaviour on the road, it will be a tougher task to turn this year around and prevent more loss of life.”

*Road Casualty Fatalities are up to 10th July 2016 (ie includes motorcyclist killed on Saturday 9th July) compared to 10th July 2015 when 77 people had been killed on roads.

Table 1 Road Deaths by Road User Category 2016 Compared to 2015 (up to 10th July 2016)

2016 Change on 2015
No. No.
Driver 40 +3
Passenger 15 +4
Pedestrian 16 +0
Motorcyclist 11 +2
Pedal Cyclist 5 +1
Total 87 +10

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Minister Donohoe introduces Fixed Charge Notice & penalty points for driving with defective or worn tyres

 

Friday 15 April 2016

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Friday) announced a new Fixed Charge Notice (FCN) offence for motorists who drive with defective or worn tyres on their vehicle.  Although it is already an offence to drive a vehicle with defective or worn tyres, there will now be a fixed charge (or fine) of €80, with two penalty points endorsed on the licence on payment of the fixed charge for commission of the offence, or four penalty points following conviction in court.  The new regulations take effect from Sunday, 17th April 2016.

Speaking today, Minister Donohoe said: ‘Following consultation with the Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána, I have decided to extend the fixed charge notice system to vehicles with defective or worn tyres. This new measure is intended to promote greater awareness among motorists of the hazards of driving with tyres that are not in roadworthy condition.

“Since the penalty points system was introduced in 2002, there has been a dramatic fall in the numbers dying needlessly on our roads.  The penalty points system has played an important role in reducing fatalities and improving road safety since that time.  We need to keep up the pressure to reduce road deaths, and I am confident that the measure I am introducing today will make an important contribution to achieving that.

“Just this month, the Road Safety Authority reported that vehicle factors played a role in one in eight fatal collisions across the period 2008 to 2012.  Defective tyres were the most significant factor, representing almost two thirds of all vehicle factors identified as contributing to a collision and to the deaths of 71 people on Irish roads in the past five years.

“The RSA report also highlighted just how important it is that every aspect of a vehicle is in proper roadworthy condition.  None of us can predict what will happen on our roads; we may encounter other drivers behaving poorly or adverse weather conditions.  However, we can take personal responsibility for ensuring that our vehicle is properly maintained and be confident that our tyres can reliably respond to whatever conditions we may encounter. In a bid to highlight how critical this issue is to road safety, I have expedited the work to bring the offence of defective and non-roadworthy tyres within the penalty point system. I am urging people to take preventative measures today by checking their vehicles regularly and ensuring they are up to standard and roadworthy. It may just save your life.”

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Minister Donohoe welcomes Driver Licence Exchange Agreement between Ireland and Newfoundland & Labrador

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe T.D., today signed into law an agreement for mutual exchange of driving licences between Ireland and the Canadian province of Newfoundland & Labrador.

Under the agreement, holders of a full Irish driving licence who take up residence in Newfoundland & Labrador can exchange their licence for a Newfoundland & Labrador licence.  Likewise, holders of Newfoundland & Labrador licences who take up residence in Ireland will be able to exchange their driving licences for an Irish licence.  Applicants for exchange in both Ireland and Newfoundland & Labrador will therefore not need to take a driving test in order to exchange their driving licences. This will be of great benefit to citizens of both jurisdictions, both Irish residents in Newfoundland & Labrador and Newfoundland & Labrador residents in Ireland.

Speaking today Minister Donohoe said: ‘I am particularly pleased to be able to announce this agreement between Ireland and Newfoundland & Labrador.  This is the third Canadian province with which we have reached an exchange arrangement on driver licences, and I hope to see others follow soon.  Over a number of recent years, significant numbers of Irish people have moved to work in Canada, and I know that being able to exchange a driving licence can be of enormous benefit to them.  This arrangement will also be welcomed by people from Newfoundland & Labrador living in Ireland who wish to exchange their licence for an Irish one.

This agreement follows on an exchange arrangement with Ontario which was launched in 2014 and with Manitoba which was launched in 2015.  I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Irish Embassy in Canada, as well as the authorities in Newfoundland & Labrador, for their collaboration in arriving at this agreement. Work is ongoing by the RSA, as Ireland’s national driver licensing body, with the authorities of the other Canadian provinces with a view to reaching similar agreements and I look forward to these agreements being progressed in the near future.”

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 Introduction of Fixed Charge Notices for cyclists aims to promote safe cycling practices

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, has today (Thursday) announced that he will be introducing Fixed Charge Notices (FCNs) for cyclists who commit certain road traffic offences.  The fixed charge will be set at €40.  It is the Minister’s intention to introduce regulations to give effect to this proposal by 31st July 2015 (see details below).

Speaking today, Minister Donohoe said: ‘Following consultations with the Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána, I have decided to extend the fixed charge notice system to cyclists for seven of the 36 existing road traffic offences. These include breaking a red light, failure to have a front lamp or rear lamp lit during lighting-up hours and cycling without reasonable consideration. This new measure is intended to promote safe cycling practices and to discourage dangerous cycling’.

“The introduction of fixed charge notices for motorists has been hugely successful in changing driver behaviour and I am confident that a similar change in behaviour and attitudes by cyclists who break the law will result following the introduction of this measure.  While the majority of cyclists obey the rules of the road, unfortunately there are some who do not.  As a committed cyclist myself, I am of the view that the introduction of fixed charge notices for cyclists will increase awareness among cyclists and reinforce the message that cyclists have a responsibility in relation to obeying road traffic law.  It will also provide another enforcement measure for An Garda Síochána.

“Our pro-cycling policies are very successful and are resulting in a very significant increase in cycling. It is important that we seek to ensure that growth in cycling takes place on the basis of responsible cycling behaviour.  Increased cycling will mean increased safety risks. Cyclists are vulnerable road users and it is important that we manage this risk though appropriate preventative measures rather than reactive measures later on.

“As part of the mid-term review of the National Cycle Policy Framework 2009-2020, I will further examine the legislation in force in relation to cyclists and to look at further pro-cycling measures that could be introduced.  A number of proposals are being considered with a view to bringing these to public consultation in the autumn. Any changes to legislation will focus on enhancing the safety of cyclists and encouraging increased cycling numbers.

“Through sustained investment in cycle lanes, Dublin Bikes and Coke Zero schemes in Cork, Limerick and Galway and the bike to work tax break we have a strategy in place to encourage more people to cycle on a more regular basis.   We have seen huge increases in the numbers cycling into Dublin with over 10% increase each year for the past 2 years.   Our investment in Greenways around the country will also introduce many families to cycling.  The recent Bike Week was a great success which saw a great turn out of cyclists at hundreds of events around the country.”

Unfortunately, the months of May through to September represent the most dangerous months for cyclist injuries and fatalities. Last year 13 cyclists were tragically killed on our roads.  This year to date 3 cyclists have lost their lives.

Speaking at the European Transport Safety Council’s Preventing Road Accidents and Injuries for the Safety of Employees (PRAISE) Conference earlier today Minister Donohoe said: ‘I am pleased to see that the number of deaths to date in 2015 is 24 lower than at the same time in 2014.  This is welcome news, but certainly no cause for complacency.  The sombre truth is that 72 people have died on our roads so far this year who need not have died.  This is a real number, with real lives behind it, and real families left bereaved.  Let us never lose sight of that’.

 

Further information

List of offences to be made fixed charge notice offences.

 

 

Description of Offence

Fixed Charge

1. Cyclist driving a pedal cycle without reasonable consideration.

€40

2. No front lamp or rear lamp lit during lighting-up hours on a pedal cycle.

€40

3. Cyclist proceeding into a pedestrianised street or area.

 

€40

4 Cyclist proceeding past traffic lights when the red lamp is illuminated.

 

€40

5 Cyclist proceeding past cycle traffic lights when red lamp is lit.

 

€40

6 Cyclist failing to stop for a School Warden sign.

€40

7 Cyclist proceeding beyond a stop line, barrier or half barrier at a railway level crossing, swing bridge or lifting bridge, when the red lamps are flashing.

 

€40

 

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Learners will get penalty points for driving alone

Learners who drive unaccompanied are to receive penalty points for the first time, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said.

Motorists who overtake dangerously or fail to obey traffic lights face tougher penalties as part of a new clamp down.

Mr Donohoe said the authorities were targeting particularly dangerous behaviour.

“We need to remember that the main purpose of the penalty points system is to concentrate minds and, ultimately, change driver behaviour.

“Learners must be accompanied and must display an L plate as a condition of their learner permit, and should remember that as learners they should exercise caution at all times. The L plate is as much a reminder to them as to other road users.”

The new points offences include learner permit holders driving unaccompanied or failing to display an L plate, and failure by novice drivers to display an N plate. Two points will be due on payment of a fixed charge or four on conviction in court.

Among the offences for which the penalty points have increased are dangerous overtaking, failure to stop a vehicle before a stop sign and failure to obey traffic lights.

The number of points will be increased for nine offences, and a further 14 will attract points for the first time. Two offences which previously involved a court appearance have now been brought within the fixed charge and points system.

The minister added: “Since the penalty points system began, there has been a dramatic fall in the numbers dying needlessly on our roads. However, 2013 showed the first increase in road fatalities for many years, and, unfortunately, we are on course for similar figures in 2014.

“The penalty points system played an important role in reducing road fatalities and improving safety from 2002 on. We need to keep up the pressure to reduce road deaths, and I am confident that the measures which I am introducing today will make an important contribution to achieving that goal.”