Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Ceisteanna (12)

David Stanton

Ceist:

15 Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has given any consideration to legislating for the mandatory use of dipped headlights for all vehicles on dull days or at all times in an effort to improve road safety; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22992/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport)

The question refers to the imposition of a mandatory requirement for daytime running lights. In 2010, the Road Safety Authority reviewed the policy options available for the mandatory introduction of Daytime Running Lights or DRL whereby driving lights are switched on automatically once the engine is started. That review concluded that DRL should not be made obligatory for the time-being, because the experience in other countries shows that mandatory DRL works best where all vehicles are fitted with dedicated DRL and where there has been intensive promotion and awareness campaigns prior to DRL being made mandatory. The Road Safety Authority encourages the use of DRL on a voluntary basis, in particular during the period of September to March and in wet or poor conditions at any time. Earlier this year the Authority launched an awareness campaign promoting the use of DRL on national radio.

In Ireland most vehicles do not have dedicated DRL and the Road Safety Authority analysis has shown that the costs of retrofitting DRL at the current time outweighs the benefits. However, EC Directive 2008/89/EC requires dedicated DRL be standard on all new passenger cars and small vans from February 2011 onwards and on HGVs and buses from August 2012 onwards. Therefore, as the national fleet is renewed over time all vehicles will have DRL. The Road Safety Authority has recommended that the position be reviewed in around 3 years by which time vehicles on our roads with dedicated DRL will have become more prevalent. In the meantime, the Authority will intensify the promotion of using DRL with a view to significantly increasing the use of DRL.