Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (1056)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1056. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason voluntary rescue services have been informed they are unable to use blue flashing lights and sirens in emergencies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12737/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

There is no change in the policy in relation to use of blue lights and sirens on Coast Guard vehicles. Under SI 694 and 695 of 2011, Coast Guard vehicles can be fitted with blue lights and warning devices. Arising from a safety review internally, the Coast Guard issued a clarification to its volunteers in relation to how these blue lights and warning devices (sirens) should be used on public roads. This instruction sets out the existing position as regards their use while driving on public roads. The IRCG is committed to providing appropriate training to its volunteers and full-time staff in the correct and safe use of Blue Lights and sirens.

Any legislative changes in relation to the use of blue lights and sirens would require a policy assessment which would have to take account, inter alia, of the need to balance the safety of staff, whether full-time or voluntary, members of the public as well as those to whom the Coast Guard is responding.