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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 22 Apr 1969

Vol. 239 No. 12

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Safety Devices.


asked the Minister for Local Government if he will make an order that all lorries must have a device fitted which will prevent cars from running under the back of lorries.

As I indicated in reply to a similar question on the 4th February last, the question of whether to prescribe the fitting of such a device is being considered in a review of existing regulations being conducted by my Department at present.

Does the Minister not appreciate the fact that during the past few weeks a number of very serious tragedies have occurred as a result of failure to have such a device fitted and does he not consider that there should be no further delay about the making of an order that those devices be fitted? I do not know whether the Minister himself has inspected these lorries recently but if he has he will have seen that the vehicles are fitted with two steel girders under the chassis and sticking out from the back—one on the driver's side and one on the passenger's side—which kill anybody who may run into the back of the lorry.

As I have said, this matter is being considered and there are a number of points that are relevant and which will have to be considered before a regulation is drafted.

How many more people must be killed before a decision is made?

I do not know but there is no point in making a regulation that does not make sense. We must consider the various implications involved.

Surely the Minister is aware that other countries have seen to it that these devices are effectively fitted?

There is not any international specification for any similar device.

But there are such devices used in other countries. Surely it is very important that lives should not be lost as a result of these devices not being fitted?

There are a lot of other important questions on the Order Paper. We cannot spend all day on this question.


asked the Minister for Local Government if he has yet made an order stipulating that all tractors must be fitted with safety devices.

In my reply to the Deputy's question on the 12th February last, I informed him that on the 25th January, 1969 a notice had been given in the press, on television and on radio of my intention to make regulations to provide for the compulsory fitting of safety frames on tractors used in a public place. As I explained on that occasion, comments on this proposal were invited from interested persons and it was requested that such comments should reach my Department not later than 28th February, 1969. My Department has considered all the comments submitted and work is now in progress on the drafting of the regulations.

Would the Minister hazard a guess as to when the regulation will be made?

In about six weeks time.

Thank you.

Question No. 23 postponed.