On the passage of the Bill from the House I, too, wish to thank several people, including the Minister, for the open and inclusive way in which he has dealt with the Opposition and in taking amendments and allowing us access to his officials to bring forward the ideas we have had. While I will, to the best of my ability, continue the non-partisan approach to try to develop the legislative framework around road safety, it is right and fitting that we hold the Government to account, not so much the Minister concerned but the Minister for Justice and Equality, to ensure the appropriate level of Garda staffing is in place and to ensure the laws we pass in the House are enforced in a manner that ensures those among the travelling public take cognisance of the law. The public must realise that in breaking or breaching the law, the likelihood of being apprehended is real. The law must act as a deterrent rather than allowing the situation to develop, which I believe has happened in the past 12 months, whereby there has been a more relaxed approach by drivers. They have come to believe, as the chairman of the Road Safety Authority has clearly identified, that they will not be apprehended, caught or brought before the courts. Whether that is a reality or a perception is irrelevant because, as the Minister is aware, perception becomes reality. The fact is there has been an unprecedented rise in the past 12 months. I am still prepared to look at that as a blip in the overall statistical gamut. However, we will have to review that on an ongoing basis.
I look forward to working with the Minister, his officials and the Road Safety Authority in attempting, to the best of our ability in the House, to ensure the legislative framework continues to be updated and fit for purpose. In addition, I hope our efforts continue to highlight the importance of safety on the road. The benefit to society is clear in many ways, by saving lives and reducing the level of serious injury, which has, unfortunately, bedevilled many families, communities and counties.