Pressing issues of lack of speed cameras, reduction in Garda overtime and rural transport strategy require discussion
Speaking on the Second Stage of the Road Traffic Bill 2009 in the Seanad, Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer said the Bill must be a testimony to the people who have lost their lives on our roads and, that while welcome, the Bill is long overdue.
“The truth is we should have arrived at this point a long time ago. The Bill should be law by now and we should be pressing ahead addressing the lack of speed cameras on our roads, the reduction in Garda overtime and the diminution of services in local communities which is making rural living unsustainable.
“The reduction in the blood alcohol limit is to be welcomed and I would not be disappointed if we went further and reduced it to zero. However, in this context of this debate it is vital that, in the interest of fairness, we tackle the issue of rural isolation and the problems posed to local communities. With little or no vision coming from Government and with minimal funding secured for a rural transport strategy, it is difficult to be optimistic about the future for remote communities. We must continue to press for solutions to this problem.
“As a society we have failed in many ways to build sustainable communities. A number of years ago President McAleese spoke about the need to have a debate on the use of alcohol in society. It is incumbent on us, as elected representatives, to ensure we have that debate and to address the alcohol crises that exist in Ireland.
“Many vested interest groups have lobbied hard on this Bill, including the vintners associations, people living in rural areas, the families of victims of road traffic accidents and the media. It is beholden on all of us to enact this legislation as a matter of urgency so that we can set about tackling the crucial issues that are the cause of loss of life on our roads.”