Posted on December 16, 2015 5:51 PM   |   Permanent Link   

Labour TD Sean Kenny, and Vice-chair of the Oireachtas Transport Committee, has called for an examination of what can be done to hold reckless drivers who cause delays to traffic services to account.

Deputy Kenny made the comments following an episode at the Merrion gates in which truck driver with a large load of cars attempted to cross a railway junction on a bend, leading to delays.

He stated: "I am calling on the Minister for Transport to initiate a review of traffic safety legislation to see where it is appropriate in legislation to put in place specific actions that can be taken to ensure drivers and companies responsible for incidents such as this, to be prosecuted."

"Drivers who collide with bridges are usually driving very tall vehicles and are, in the vast majority of cases that I've seen, truck drivers or large coach drivers. Bridge strike episodes happen because these drivers are careless. They ignore warnings about bridge heights, they fail to plan their journeys to avoid bridges where their vehicle cannot go, and they fail to take into account that their large vehicles can cause undue delay for those using other forms of transport, in particular train services, which have to be delayed so that the affected bridge can be checked to ensure it is safe for trains to cross. Indeed, other motorists on the road are also delayed as they are caught behind the vehicle involved. There was a particularly bad case of this sort of incident at Clontarf in 2013, and another on the quays in Dublin city more recently, both causing absolute havoc with traffic across the city."

"The latest episode causing undue delay to road users involved a truck in a different type of incident - a truck driver with a very large load of cars attempted to cross a railway junction on a bend, at the Merrion gates crossing this morning. This episode was the height of foolishness, with motorists and rail users all put at risk, and with traffic and rail service delays. Rushing a railway crossing should never be attempted, as a vehicle being caught on a railway crossing is highly dangerous, especially if a train is approaching at speed."

"My view on these drivers, who are basically dangerous drivers, is that they should not be allowed to drive commercial vehicles and should risk loss of their licence. I believe the company they are driving for should also face a severe financial penalty. There has to be a deterrent for such reckless behaviour."