Ross calls for drink drivers to be named
Minister plans to publicise road offenders’ failings
DRINK drivers will be named and shamed in the future, Shane Ross warned yesterday.
The outspoken Transport Minister made clear his intention to embarrass and name those who choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated by publicising their failings.
But Mr Ross is expected to set criteria for his naming proposal today after his bold statement.
‘We will have name-and-shame legislation – certainly the heads of the Bill introduced before the end of the year,’ Mr Ross said yesterday.
‘Hopefully we’ll get the legislation into the Dáil very soon after that.
‘We’re absolutely committed to saving lives and looking at anything that saves lives.’ Fianna Fáil recently intervened to prevent Leo Varadkar’s effort to name all those convicted of social welfare fraud.
The names will now only be published where an amount of more than €5,000 is involved, and publication will involve the names being maintained on a departmental website for no longer than three months.
The main opposition party will now study the new proposals from Shane Ross, which came with no qualifications yesterday.
The Independent TD for Dublin Rathdown, meanwhile, called on Fianna Fáil to support his new legislation to create automatic driving bans for all breaches of blood-alcohol limits. The Road Traffic (Fixed Penalty-Drink Driving) Bill 2017 proposes that anyone caught driving with a level between 50mg and 80mg per 100ml of blood will be put off the roads.
Mr Ross also called upon the licensed vintners sector to ‘get off the pitch’ in lobbying against the measure, which he said would ‘undoubtedly’ save lives.
He did not rule out naming and shaming being extended to other road traffic areas, such as the use of a mobile phone while driving, or for speeding offences.
‘We recognise that speeding is a real curse and there are several other factors involved in causing road deaths. We will look at them.
‘We want to get this passed first, and we can’t do everything at the same time,’ he said.
Meanwhile, the Taoiseach said yesterday the high rates of alcohol consumption had to be tackled.
‘The high prevalence of harmful drinking in our society is also a serious cause of concern,’ he said.
Mr Varadkar said the Government was committed to a new Public Health (Alcohol) Bill, which he himself had introduced as Minister for Health, which provides for minimum unit pricing and other restrictions, but which has since been stalled.
‘It will go back into the Seanad in the autumn and go through the Dáil as well before the end of the year. We’re a country that is drinking too much,’ Mr Varadkar said. ‘It’s the main drug of abuse in Ireland.’
Legislation: Shane Ross