Driving Disqualifications to apply
equally in Ireland, Great Britain,
Northern Ireland and Isle of Man

February 2006

Councillor Devlin informed residents of Dún Laoghaire about the latest Safety Initiative as a result of cross border co-operation.

Driving Disqualifications are to apply equally in Ireland, Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Isle of Man.  This means that Irish drivers disqualified from driving in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man are also to be disqualified from driving on Irish roads.  Equally, drivers from Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man disqualified from driving in Ireland will also be disqualified from driving in their respective jurisdictions.

The Road Safety Initiative, agreed at today's (Thursday, 9th February 2006) British-Irish Council meeting in Belfast will cover serious road traffic offences.  Driving disqualifications for offences such as drink driving, dangerous or reckless driving, hit and runs and speeding are included in today's agreement.

Transport Minster Cullen TD, is to legislate for this new measure in the forthcoming Road Safety Authority Bill.  The Bill will go before the Oireachtas on 22nd February this year.  The new arrangements agreed today are expected to come into operation early next year.

Mutual recognition of driving disqualifications already exists between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man but not with Ireland.

Minister Cullen said "The British-Irish Council has provided a unique forum for co-operation, discussion and sharing of expertise across a range of issues of mutual interest. Today's agreement is an excellent example of what working together can achieve for the betterment of people on these islands.

I am particularly encouraged by the progress made towards the introduction of arrangements for reciprocal recognition of driving disqualifications between Great Britain and Ireland.  "Reckless driving is wrong, no matter where and when it occurs. Tough law is one part of improving road safety and this will be a tough law.   This new measure ensures that drivers don't escape the punishment of their actions." 

The Ministers reviewed progress made under the Group's successful work programme.  Today's meeting focused on a number of topics under the general theme of Road Safety.  The topics included the mutual recognition of driving disqualifications, the treatment of lesser road traffic infringements and research into the issues surrounding drugs and driving.

Minister Cullen agreed an important new programme of work for the British-Irish Council Group for the period ahead.  Building on the experience gained to date, the focus for the coming programme will be on the area of Accessible Transport, sharing best practice and seeking opportunities to reduce the barriers that restrict travel opportunities for older people people with disabilities.

Minister Cullen also agreed that officials should actively seek to work together to Promote Sustainable Travel.  A group is to be set up at official level to agree what areas would be suitable for joint working and to develop a work programme.

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Cllr. Cormac Devlin, "Saint Michaels", Glenageary Avenue, Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
Telephone: +353 (1) 275 0786 Email cormacdevlin@ireland.com.
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