R-plate drink drive U-turn

WITHDRAWN: Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne abandoned the proposals

WITHDRAWN: Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne abandoned the proposals

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PLANS to lower the drink drive limit for R-plate drivers have been abandoned.

Infrastructure Minister Phil Gawne MHK has confirmed his department has dropped its two tier drink drive proposals following an extended public consultation.

Fellow Rushen MHK Quintin Gill, who had opposed the proposals claiming they would unfairly target inexperienced young drivers, has welcomed the U-turn.

Mr Gill asked a series of questions in Tynwald last month about the Road Traffic (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill.

One of the proposals under consideration was the introduction of a two-tier drink-drive system under which a driver using an R plate would be liable to a lower drink-drive limit than more experienced drivers.

Currently the prescribed limit for all drivers is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

But the bill proposed this was reduced to 46 for provisional and newly qualified drivers.

Mr Gill said the Department of Infrastructure had confirmed the decision to drop clause nine of the bill which prescribed lower blood alcohol limits for inexperienced drivers, was the result of responses to the extended period of public consultation

He said: ‘Recent questions in Tynwald have shown that where records are kept they reflect a very low level of drink-drive offences by R plate drivers.

‘This proposal, in the light of that information, seemed unnecessary and I commend Minister Gawne for withdrawing clause nine.

‘I would also like to thank everyone who responded to the consultation process and believe this is an example of engaging with young people, particularly in an area which directly affects them and their friends.’

A report published in March last year by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) concluded that younger drivers were particularly at risk of crashing whenever they had consumed alcohol because they were less experienced drivers, were immature, and had a lower tolerance to the effects of alcohol than older people.

Younger drivers may also be predisposed to risk-taking, regardless of whether they have consumed alcohol, the review stated.

Reducing the drink-drive limit was an effective drink-driving deterrent, it concluded – and its biggest impact was on reducing deaths among young drivers.

As well as the now-abandoned plans to reduce the prescribed limit for R plate drivers, the new bill also proposes four new driving offences – causing grievous bodily harm (GBH) by dangerous driving; causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving; causing GBH by careless or inconsiderate driving and causing death by driving when unlicensed, disqualifÌed or uninsured.

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