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New bills for tougher traffic penalties delayed again

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The bundle of seven new bills on implementing tougher traffic penalties is unlikely to be voted through by parliament before summer recess but more likely in the following autumn, it emerged on Friday.

The draft legislation was submitted to parliament in March but the European Parliament elections and change in leadership of the justice ministry has delayed the discussion of the bills in the House transport committee, which convened on Friday.

Included in the bills is an increase in the fines for speeding from €1 per kilometre to €5 while using a phone while driving will fetch a €300 fine instead of the current €85.

Failure to wear a seatbelt will cost €400, also up from €85.

Not wearing crash helmets on motorcycles, running red lights, and parking on pedestrian crossings and spaces reserved for handicapped drivers will cost €200 from €85. Reckless driving that ends up causing bodily harm will be punishable with up to three years in jail and or a fine of up to €10,000.

MPs do not unanimously agree on the fines and parties may try put forward amendments which is likely to mean the bills won’t be voted through in parliament before recess later this month.

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