Proposed Modernisation of Road Traffic Laws
The Department of Infrastructure is inviting feedback on plans to ‘modernise’ key elements of the Isle of Man Road Traffic Laws and while some of the proposals are common sense, one I am slightly concerned about is a plan to lower the alcohol limit for drivers. We often complain that the Isle of Man follows EU regulation yet in this case we are being told to leapfrog the present UK limit to that being imposed in parts of the EU and recently Scotland. No one wants drunk drivers on the road but the problem of drink driving, in particular those that have accidents more often than not involves people well over the present limit, sometimes 2, 3 even 4 times. The effects of lower limits introduced in Scotland has been devastating on rural restaurant pub businesses and is in effect criminalising minimal alcohol consumption which brings benefit to our local businesses and as well as enabling people to have a glass of wine or beer with a meal out.
I would be interested to have some feedback from the general public. If having looked at the same you would like to email me I would be interested in your views.
In the meantime I am going to ask the Government Research Department/DOI for some specific information with regard to accidents and incidents on the Isle of Man and the level of blood alcohol involved.
Proposed modernisation of road traffic laws
The Department of Infrastructure is inviting feedback on plans to modernise key elements of the Isle of Man’s road traffic laws, including a proposal to lower the alcohol limit for drivers.
A public consultation has today (Friday 15 January 2016) been launched on the Road Traffic Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2016.
The Bill contains a proposal for the Isle of Man to follow Scotland and many European countries by lowering the maximum blood alcohol content for drivers to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The present drink-drive limit in the Isle of Man is 80mg per 100ml, which is the same as in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The Bill also proposes to update the law on driving while under the influence of drugs, as well as increasing the maximum fines for speeding offences from £1,000 to £3,000. Motorists could face double the usual fine, up to a maximum of £5,000, if convicted of speeding in a home zone, school zone or through roadworks.
Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne MHK said: ‘The safety of people on the Isle of Man’s roads is of paramount importance. Medical research supports the view that lowering the drink-drive limit reduces the likelihood of alcohol-related road injuries and deaths. Similarly, the increase in speeding fines in certain high-risk areas is intended to provide greater protection to our more vulnerable road users.’
The Road Traffic Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2016 also proposes to strengthen the legislation to deal with potential nuisance issues in local communities, such as abandoned vehicles and the parking of motorhomes in residential areas.
In addition, the Bill would provide for enhanced use of the motor insurers database and offer greater clarity on matters relating to driving licences and tests, the enforcement of motoring fines, misuse of disabled person’s badges, fixed penalty notices and horse-drawn vehicles.
Minister Gawne said: ‘People quite rightly get fed up with vehicles being abandoned and left to become an eyesore, or large motorhomes being parked on residential streets and estates. This Bill will provide more power to deal with such issues, while also simplifying processes and reducing bureaucracy. I would encourage people to let us know their views by responding to the consultation.’
The consultation document is available to view on the Government website at https://www.gov.im/consultations.gov and submissions can be emailed to Chris.Hannon@gov.im or posted to Chris Hannon, Department of Infrastructure, Sea Terminal Buildings, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 2RF.
The deadline for responses is Friday 12 February.