asked the Minister for Local Government whether there are any exceptions to the 60 mph speed limit; if so, what they are; and the reason for them.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Exceptions to Speed Limit.
Ambulances, fire brigade vehicles and vehicles used by members of the Garda Síochána in the performance of their duties as such members are exempted from the provisions of the Road Traffic (General Speed Limit) Regulations, 1969. It is the practice to exempt these classes of vehicles from traffic restrictions which would impede them in carrying out their functions which can be of an emergency nature.
Are Garda cars used to drive Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries exempt?
Vehicles used by the Garda Síochána in the performance of their duties are exempt.
Come clean. If the Minister is driving a Garda car at over 60 miles per hour is he exempt?
I do not drive a Garda car.
I mean the car in which the Minister is being driven.
Cars driven by the Garda Síochána in the performance of their duties.
In other words, it can exceed 60 miles per hour.
That is a matter of interpretation.
It is a scandalous abuse of privilege.
It is a matter of interpretation.
If the Minister is driving a State car himself and doing over 60 miles per hour can he be pulled?
That is a separate question.
It is not; it happens.
I did not hear the question.
If a Minister is driving a State car at over 60 miles per hour is he breaking the law?
If such a situation occurred he would be.
The Minister knows it has occurred.
I do not think any members of the Garda Síochána are Ministers. Will the Deputy tell us why he was thrown off the Mullingar Mental Hospital Board?
That is a separate question.
The Deputy was afraid to turn up for six months and he was afraid to——
I happened to be in this House every Thursday morning and I could not attend.
The Deputy was afraid to turn up after he had made allegations that——
Anything I had to say I said here or in St. Loman's or elsewhere.
That is the place for the Deputy.
I could not be here and in Mullingar at the same time on Thursday mornings.
The Deputy was there to make allegations against members of the staff but not there when they were refuted.
A member of the staff took £700 and was allowed to pay it back out of his gratuity. He has a pension today of £7 a week because he was a member of the Fianna Fáil Party. He embezzled £700 and he was allowed to pay it out of——
Will the Deputy please allow Questions to continue?
If the Minister wants to know what is going on under the guise of justice and democracy I will tell him.
We are discussing a question which deals with the 60 miles an hour speed limit——
I think the Minister has exceeded the speed limit.
(Cavan): Will the Minister not agree that the exemption from the speed limit which is applicable to Garda cars is really meant to apply to Garda cars operating in the course of their duty for crime protection and things of that nature? Will the Minister agree that if it does, as he appears to think——
I did not say that.
(Cavan): The Minister said it was a matter of interpretation. If this exemption does apply to ministerial cars driven by members of the Garda Síochána does he not agree that that exemption should be revoked forth with and will he take steps to revoke it?
The exemption applies to police cars because their duties may be of an emergency nature.
(Cavan): Would the Minister explain to the House how the driving of a Minister of State could be classed as an emergency such as the driving of an ambulance, fire brigade engine or a police car investigating a criminal injury?
As I said, the duties of members of the Garda Síochána driving official cars can be of an emergency nature.
Suppose the Minister is going to a meeting of a Fianna Fáil Cumann can the car in which he is a passenger exceed the speed limit?
What about it?
Can that car exceed the speed limit?
If the car is capable of it. It is only intended to apply to emergencies.
Question No. 32.
(Cavan): In the interests of common decency will the Minister make it clear that this exemption from the speed limit does not apply to ministerial cars driven by members of the Garda Síochána?
It applies, as I told the Deputy——
(Cavan): Will the Minister clarify the position?
I told the Deputy the vehicles that were exempt were ambulances, fire brigade vehicles and vehicles used by members of the Garda Síochána in the performance of their duties.
(Cavan): It is a public disgrace.