New bill hopes to treat speeding the same way as drink-driving

Figures show a drop in the number of Irish road deaths

New bill hopes to treat speeding the same way as drink-driving

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The Transport Minister Shane Ross says he wants to treat speeding like drink-driving.

Mr Ross thinks the faster people drive the more penalty points they should get.

His comments are in response to the latest road safety figures, which show there has been a 15% drop in the number of deaths on our roads.

The provisional road collision statistics - published by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) following an analysis by An Garda Síochána - show that up to December 31st 2017 a total of 158 people lost their lives on Ireland’s roads.

This was as a result of 143 fatal crashes.

That is compared to 186 lives lost in 174 fatal crashes in 2016.

This represents 28 fewer fatalities, or a 15% drop, and 31 fewer fatal crashes, or an 18% drop, in fatal crashes.

The RSA says 2017 was also be the safest year on Ireland’s roads since road deaths were first recorded in 1959.

Previously, 2015 (with 162 deaths) was the safest year on record.

Minister Ross told Newstalk Breakfast he wants to bring in bigger speeding fines as soon as possible.

"What I hope to do this year is introduce a bill which attacks speeding in rather a similar way to alcohol by the fact that the amount over which the speed limit people go they'll get more penalty points which will of course move them much closer to disqualification".

"At the moment I think speed limits are igmnored to some extent, they haven't been enforced in previosu years as much as they could be.

"I think that if people know the certainty that if they go a long way over the limit they're liable to get four, five maybe even six points - and if they do it twice they might get disqualified.

"I hope that that will contribute to stopping them breaking the speed limit".

But Minister Ross says the number of points that could be given has not been decided on yet.