Fine Gael TD for Limerick, Patrick O’Donovan, has today (Tuesday) asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar, to consider introducing hands-free technology as a minimum standard to be included by manufacturers in new vehicles. Deputy O'Donovan raised the issue following the announcement by Minister Varadkar of the review of the penalty point system.
“I believe that road safety is of the highest importance and, in light of the Minister's review, I have submitted a Parliamentary Question requesting him to consider making it standard that all new vehicles be equipped with hands-free technology in the future.
“Rather than just focussing purely on penalty points alone as a way to ensure greater levels of safety on our roads, I believe that we should also look at in-car technology to assist us in minimising the risks on our roads. If new vehicles have hands-free technology built in as a minimum standard, and categorised as a safety feature to reduce the risk of the driver using the actual hand set while driving, I believe it would make a very positive contribution to road safety.
“While we have made huge progress in the area of road safety over the last ten years, I believe that there are many people who still use their mobile phone when driving to make and receive calls and to send text messages. By having hands-free technology included as standard for every new vehicle, it could reduce the risk associated with drivers making and receiving calls while driving, and would eliminate the need for them to lift their handset while in the car.”