In the leadup to Christmas we will all at some stage be concerned about driving on icy roads, possible flooding to our homes and frozen pipes. On the 9th of November the Government launched a campaign entitled “Be Winter Ready” to assist people in preparing and coping with inclement weather conditions this winter in home, business, schools, farm and on the roads. Through a dedicated website www.winterready.ie, practical advice is being made available from a number of sources including An Garda Síochána, the Health Service Executive, Local Authorities and the transport providers on how best to prepare for the coming winter.
In addition to the information contained in the booklet we would like to point out some measures you should take into account.
New drink driving limits came into operation on the 27th of October under the Road Traffic and this Act introduced a new Penalty system. If a driver is not already disqualified from holding a driving licence or has not availed of the administrative fixed penalty option in the preceding 3 years, and the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels in the body do not exceed 100mg, s/he will be served with a fixed penalty notice. To summarsise:
50-80mg – the driver will be served with a fixed penalty notice and receive a fine of €200 and 3 penalty points.
100mg – the driver will be served with a fixed penalty notice, receive a fine of €400 and be disqualified for 6 months.
Learner and professional drivers (Goods, Bus, Public Service Vehicle e.g. taxi) are treated differently and a lower limit applies. If between 20mg and 80mg the driver will be fined €200 and disqualified for 3 months.
Mobile private safety cameras are a constant presence on our roads. They operate 24 hours 7 days a week at 750 locations. You can check these locations on www.garda.ie. If you are detected speeding by a camera you will be sent a fixed charge penalty of €80 (this increases to €120 if not paid within 28 days) and an automatic 2 penalty points which will remain on your licence for 3 years. Failure to pay after a further 28 day period will result in a District Court appearance where you are likely to be convicted for speeding and non-payment of fines and you will automatically get 4 penalty points and a fine to a maximum of €800.
Getting your vehicle winter ready
You should do regular checks yourself in addition to getting your car serviced by a professional. You should check wiper blades and replace where necessary, keep tyre pressure at manufacturers recommended level and check thread depth is at least 3mm. It is an offence to have “bald” tyres and you will have no traction in wet conditions. The government booklet together with the Gardai offer helpful advice about how to drive in icy conditions. Also carry anti-freeze, screen scraper, high visibility vest, an emergency blanket, a fully charged mobile phone, a torch, wellies and some food in case you are stranded or have to abandon your car!
The data on this blog is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. Dermot G. O’Donovan Solicitors makes no representations as to accuracy, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. No solicitor-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. Nothing on this blog is intended to substitute for the advice of a Solicitor. If you require legal advice, please consult with a Solicitor.