The Cathaoirleach said that I could raise a number of points on this section and I will do so with the indulgence of the Leas-Chathaoirleach, although I may be stretching it. This section deals with the principal Act. There is an issue that needs more specific attention in the principal Act. I do not know if the Minister is of a mind to examine it on Report Stage. It concerns slow drivers, who can be quite hazardous. We have all had the experience of driving in a 100 km/h zone and not being able to do more than 60 km/h because someone in front is going at that speed. It happened to me today. At night time it can be dangerous when there is a build-up of traffic and someone is trying to make time by driving at the normal speed limit. The person starts to overtake, which is one of the most risky driving manoeuvres. Getting the timing wrong or doing it near a bend can lead to a serious accident.
I raised the point in the House a number of years ago and a predecessor of the Minister said there was provision within the legislation for the Garda Síochána to deal with the matter as the driver would be showing insufficient regard for other motorists. This is true and is in legislation but there are very few prosecutions. There was one well-publicised prosecution a few years ago, when someone was driving a tractor and did not pull in. There was a build-up of traffic and a member of the Garda Síochána presented the driver with a summons. There was a lot of controversy about it but there should be some provision. I am not sure how we can do it but through the Road Safety Authority or the Department something can be done. The best I can come up with is that when driving 15 km/h below the speed limit for the area, if there is a build-up of more than three or four vehicles, people should be obliged to pull in at the first opportunity and let traffic pass. I do not know if the Minister is amenable to the argument but it is a serious traffic safety issue.
An unrelated point is that many speed limits across the country have been pitched too low. A review in the past two years changed some of the limits. A prime example is the N11, which I use to travel up and down to Dublin. Construction work is taking place at the moment, which reduces the speed limit on parts of the road to 80 km/h and there is no argument with that. However, large sections remain at 100 km/h. The road is of a standard that the limit should be 120 km/h for the vast majority of it, with the exception of a bend at the Glen of the Downs which does not meet the normal standard of motorways.
There should be a mechanism whereby motorists can bring such matters to the attention of the authorities so that the investment in roads yields the anticipated productivity for the economy. This may be a subjective matter but the N11 is a prime example. I remember when the Arklow bypass was opened and I raised the matter with the National Roads Authority. The chief executive of the National Roads Authority said that it could not be done. Subsequently, the speed limit was upgraded to 120 km/h. Where we are investing in roads, we should ensure construction is to best international standards and that people can drive at the appropriate speed. Motorists tend to drive at speed in those areas, which is not good. It also feeds into a disregard for speed limits generally. There is a need to have speed limits set at an appropriate and sensible level, which is sometimes not the case.