New road signs in Ireland have been introduced.
The new scheme for managing diversions on the M50 is to be fully in place in the coming weeks in Ireland. The scheme was first announced in November 2016, and it establishes emergency diversion routes, a process that took more than two years.
The diversions come into play only when a major incident closes the M50 partially. The traffic will then be diverted from the motorway onto way-marked routes through the suburbs, to the point where motorists can rejoin the M50. The way-marks being used to identify the diversions are a series of black symbols – squares, triangles, circles and diamonds – on yellow backgrounds.
The signage will identify diversions along the M50 and nearby sections of its feeder routes, such as the M1, N2, N3, N4, N7 and M11. Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council is the final authority to fit the symbols to its road signs and the process is expected to be completed in coming weeks.
A similar system is being considered for the Cork Ring Road, the M40. In the event of a major incident, motorists will see a message on overhead electric signs advising them that the motorway is closed. The electronic display would tell them which symbol to follow. Gardaí would also be on duty and the motorway operator would also use social media and radio to help inform drivers of what was happening.
New Road Signs in Ireland in Response to Incident
The move is in response to a major disruption caused by serious incidents on the M50 including an incident in 2015 at the N4/M50 junction, which caused traffic gridlock lasting several hours and led to calls for better contingency planning.
Transport Infrastructure developed the diversions after looking at similar systems in the UK and in association with the Interagency Incident Co-ordination Group, which includes representatives of An Garda Síochána, Dublin Fire Brigade, the four Dublin local authorities, and the Motorway Traffic Control Centre.
The system has, as yet, been used only twice. The first time was at the junction of the M50/M1 in 2016 when a major crash closed the junction, and the second was this May when a lorry and a bus collided on the N7, near the M50. In both incidents, traffic had been diverted effectively with the aid of the overhead signs, the new symbols, the Gardaí, radio and social media.
The M50 emergency diversions project should be completed in coming weeks and should be relaunched soon.
Source: The Irish Times via A New Driver
Learner drivers have been avoiding to take their driving tests.
Taking your driving test is imperative if you wish to achieve positive results. Avoiding it, it’s only going to lead to delays, frustrations and bad driving habits.
More than 120,000 learner permit holders who obtained their first licence between 1984 and 2016 have never taken a driving test, new figures show.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) said the 125,860 learner permits issued between 2016 and 1984 remain active, meaning they are being renewed every year.
Under the current rules, a driver can renew their learner permit once they have booked a driving test. They do not need to provide proof of having sat the test and there is no legal requirement for a learner driver to take one.
The issue also partly explains the proportion of drivers who fail to show up for their test, with an RSA spokesman saying about 10 per cent of applicants, up to 500 a week, fail to attend.
The RSA said while longer waits for a driving test were an issue for some drivers between 2016 and last year, the average waiting time nationally now stands at 8.4 weeks, following the hiring of additional testers.
The figures were released by the RSA following a Freedom of Information request from The Irish Times and cover the time period from 1980.
The authority said the recent Clancy Amendment – which introduced penalties for learners who drive unaccompanied – has led to a 30 per cent increase in driving test bookings. It believes the legal change will see the number of long-term learners permit holders gradually fall.
If you are looking to take your driving test you can click here to contact A New Driver.
(Source: The Irish Times)
The Road Safety Authority says drivers in Ireland with UK licences will need to swap their permits.
If you live in Ireland and have a UK driving licence, your licence will not be recognised here if there is a no-deal Brexit. You should apply to convert your UK licence to an Irish licence before 29 March 2019 to ensure that you can continue driving here if this situation arises.
UK licence holders are able to retain almost all categories and permissions granted by their current permit under exchange of licence arrangements in place at the moment. But national licence categories are the exception and cannot be transferred to Irish licences, according to NDLS. UK licences can be swapped for Irish ones in around 17 days.
How To Apply
You have to apply in person to one of the of the NDLS centres. You do not have to provide photographs with your application but you do need to bring photographic ID, proof of your residency entitlement, evidence of your PPS Number and proof of address with you in order to confirm you are the person who is exchanging your driving licence. You apply to exchange your driving licence using driving licence application form (D401) which is available from NDLS centres, driving test centres, driving theory test centres and Garda stations. You can also download the driving licence application form (pdf) as well as guidance notes (pdf).
Your completed application form must be accompanied by the following:
- Your driving licence. If your driving licence is lost or expired, you need a letter of entitlement from the licensing authority in the state that issued your licence
- A Driving Licence Medical Report Form may be required
- A Driving Licence Eyesight Report Form may be required
- The appropriate fee – see Rates above
It may take up to 3 months for your licence to be exchanged, as the NDLS must verify each foreign licence with the country that issued it.
The NDLS has a published a useful FAQ document on Brexit and driving licences. To read the full version, please click on FAQ on Brexit Implications.
But keep in mind: In case there is an agreed Brexit, UK driving licences will continue to be recognised across the EU.
(Source: citizen information Ireland)
Here are the new rules for learner drivers in Ireland. It’s important to book your driving test asap and avoid punishment.
Drivers holding a full Irish license who allow learner drivers to use their car unaccompanied could end up behind bars under new legislation which came into effect last month in Ireland.
The so-called ‘Clancy Amendment’, means motorists could face new penalties if they allow learners to drive their cars without the proper care.
Until now, learner drivers had to be accompanied by someone who holds a full licence. If a learner driver was caught driving unaccompanied, they could face a maximum fine of €1,000, and the person who owned the vehicle would not face any punishment.
The new rules state that motorists who let learner drivers use their cars unaccompanied will face jail time or fines under new laws. Unaccompanied learner drivers may now have their vehicle seized by gardaí.
In addition, anyone who loans a car to an unaccompanied learner driver faces prosecution and having their car impounded, following the amendment to the law.
Noel Clancy lost his wife Geraldine (58) and daughter Louise (22) on December 22, 2015. At the time, Mr Clancy even came across the accident on his way home and offered to help, not realising who was in the overturned car.
Mr Clancy has repeatedly called for stricter measures to crack down on unaccompanied learner drivers. He said in 2016: “I think it is important to reflect on the question, on any given day, (of) how many learner drivers are on the roads of Ireland unaccompanied. I am calling on the minister to implement legislation so that allowing one’s car to be driven by an unaccompanied learner driver is an offence and would make both the car owner and driver equally accountable in law.”
The RSA said a learner permit is not a licence and drivers are at risk, due to their inexperience, when they’re learning to drive.
Transport Minister Shane Ross said on Friday that he hopes the legislation will help to save lives: “Unaccompanied learner driving is illegal and it is dangerous. Once and for all we need to stamp out the entirely false notion that once someone has a learner permit they are free to drive as they wish. A learner permit is not a driving licence. It does not grant the holder the automatic right to use a car for commuting or socialising purposes, unless, of course, that learner is accompanied,” he said.
Today is the shortest day of the year, which means we will have the least amount of natural daylight, which poses a challenge for drivers who are leaving for work and coming home from work in darkness. Every morning in Dublin, there are several near misses on our roads and often reports on the radio of early morning crashes on the M50. We are encouraging new drivers to be extra careful in the darker days and below, we have some tips on what you can do to be more prepared.
Familiar routes can pose totally different challenges in the dark and you really do need to be extra careful when driving, even if you think you know the road well. Even during the day, darker conditions bring poor visibility and higher risk of collisions, simply because it can be harder to spot hazards.
Depth perception, color recognition and peripheral vision can be compromised in the dark, and the glare of headlights from an oncoming vehicle can temporarily blind a driver. Even with high-beam headlights on, visibility is limited to about 500 feet (250 feet for normal headlights) creating less time to react to something in the road, especially when driving at higher speeds.
What should you do to combat darkness?
- Aim your headlights correctly, and make sure they’re clean
- Dim your dashboard
- Look away from oncoming lights
- If you wear glasses, make sure they’re anti-reflective
- Clean the windshield to eliminate streaks
- Slow down to compensate for limited visibility and reduced stopping time
How can you make it home safely during rush hour?
- Don’t be an impatient driver; slow down
- Stay in your lane and beware of drivers who dart from lane to lane
- Even though the route may be familiar, don’t go on autopilot; stay alert
- In unfamiliar areas, consult a map before you go and memorize your route
- Don’t touch your phone, eat, drink or do other things that are distracting
The National Sleep Foundation offers this advice to combat fatigue:
- Get seven or more hours of sleep a night
- Don’t drive if you’ve been awake for 16 hours or more
- Stop every two hours to rest
- Pull over and take a nap if you’re drowsy
- Travel during times you are normally awake
While we do only one quarter of our driving at night, 50% of traffic deaths happen at night. It doesn’t matter whether the road is familiar or not, driving at night is always more dangerous.
Stay Alert, Stay Alive.
Driving conditions and road hazards
The change in season means a change in driving conditions and road hazards. We Irish were lucky this year to have a dry and bright summer, but the temperatures are dropping and drivers should prepare for the driving conditions and the road hazards that the new season brings.
So, let’s have a look at a few tips for coping with autumnal road hazards:
Sun glare during the day can make it difficult to see pedestrians, street signs, and oncoming traffic. When the sun sets behind a car, it can make it nearly impossible to see traffic lights ahead or out of your rearview mirror.
To help reduce this hazard, make sure to clean your windscreen. Smeared and dirty windscreens can make the glare of the low sun even more blinding and dangerous. Make sure you clean the inside as well as the outside of the windscreen with proper window cleaner. Wear sunglasses and use your sun-visors too.
The new season brings amazing looking colours on trees but is also brings dirt and hazard. As pretty as the autumn foliage is, it can be quite dangerous to road users. Oil and rubber build-up from traffic during the summer months and they can make roads extra slippery when wet.
If you mix in the falling leaves, you’ve got a pretty slippy situation! When leaves get wet, they have even less grip than ice. Wet leaves can often hide other hazards too, like pot holes. If you see a patch of wet leaves, reduce your speed on approach.
Low tyre pressure
The drop in temperature can cause the air pressure in your tyres to also drop. Car tyres must be properly inflated to maximise fuel efficiency, safety and traction. Head to your nearest petrol station and take a tyre pressure reading and if it is low, inflate the tyres to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Stay safe and take care!
A new drink-driving rule in Ireland is now on.
New rules on drink-driving took effect last night in Ireland. From now on, it will automatically disqualify any motorists who are found to have consumed alcohol.
The commencement of the provisions of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2018 from midnight was announced by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sports, Shane Ross.
The laws, which ensure that all drink drivers, without exception, will receive a driving disqualification, replace previous legislation which provided for penalty points for some drivers instead of a disqualification. Those drivers will now face a disqualification from driving for three months.
Before now, a driver detected with a blood alcohol concentration of between 50 and 80 milligrams was punished with a €200 fine and three penalty points.
Speaking yesterday, Minister Ross said the measures were a “significant step in clamping down on the scourge of drink driving“.
“There are few more irresponsible and dangerous things people can do in everyday life than drink and drive. It was always wrong to give people the mild slap on the wrist of three penalty points for such potentially lethal behaviour, and it is a great satisfaction to know that in future people who behave this way will face a disqualification from driving for three months. Let me be clear – we are not interested in punishing people, what we want is for people to behave responsibly.”
Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said alcohol consumption by road users is still a substantial problem in Ireland.
“The most up to date statistics indicate it’s a factor in 39% of driver fatalities. The introduction of a three-month disqualification for drivers detected with a blood alcohol concentration between 50mg and 80mg sends out a clear signal that drink driving is something that is no longer acceptable or tolerable in our communities. This measure will save lives and prevent injuries. Importantly it will assist in achieving the Government’s road safety strategy target of reducing deaths to 124 or fewer annually by the end of 2020. ”
Ms Murdock also advised motorists to take extra care on the roads over the October Bank Holiday weekend. This was reiterated by Chief Superintendent Finbarr Murphy from the Roads Policing Bureau who said that gardai would focus on all intoxicated driving this weekend. He also said on An Garda Síochána welcomed the change in legislation.
Source: Breaking News Ireland
Driving in Ireland: useful links for licence and policies.
Driving in Ireland can be challenging if you are not aware of all the policies and rules. A New Driver would like to share these useful links that every person considering driving in Ireland should read and understand.
How to renew your driving licence
When your driving licence expires you must renew it if you still want to drive.
Applying for a driving licence
Driving licences are issued if you pass a driving test. Rules about driving licences, forms and how to apply.
How to apply for a learner permit to drive a car
It is a legal requirement to hold a learner driving permit before learning to drive a car or work vehicle on public roads in Ireland.
Updating your driving licence or learner permit
If you change your name or address, you can exchange your current driving licence or learner permit for an updated one
Replacing a lost, stolen or damaged driving licence or learner permit
If your most recent driving licence or learner permit has been lost or stolen but is still valid, you can obtain a replacement.
Categories of motor vehicles and the minimum age of drivers
Motor vehicles in Ireland are divided into different categories for driver licensing purposes. Information is provided on categories of vehicles and the minimum age you need to be in order to legally drive them.
Learner driving permits for motorcycles
Before you learn to drive a motorcycle on a public road in Ireland, you must obtain a learner driving permit for the vehicle you wish to drive.
Learner driving permits for buses and trucks
Before you learn to drive a bus or truck on a public road in Ireland, you must obtain a learner driving permit for the type of vehicle you wish to drive.
Learner driving permits for trailers
Before you learn to drive while pulling a trailer that weighs more than 750kg, you must obtain a learner driving permit.
Converting your driving licence to an Irish driving licence
How to exchange a driving licence issued in another country for an Irish driving licence, including information on the fees and a list of recognised exchange countries.
International Driving Permit
An international driving permit allows you to drive in foreign countries without further tests or applications. Find out how to apply for a permit, the costs involved and those countries in which you can use your permit.
A New Driver was founded by James Hickey, a fully qualified driving instructor who offers a range of driving instruction options: from private lessons to EDT driving lessons, to pre-test. A New Driver’s EDT course provides the full 12 hours of instruction required. James specialises in providing driving instructions in most of the north Dublin residential areas. Click here to A New Driver.
It is important to understand the good practices of driving in school zones and special limits zone.
As the final preparations for a new school term begin, in homes and schools around the country, the RSA Road Safety Authority is calling on drivers, parents, guardians and teachers, to make sure road safety is top of the ‘back to school’ checklist. The RSA is reminding parents to ensure their child is visible when walking or cycling on the roads, or when waiting for the school bus.
According to Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority Ireland, parents and guardians have the responsibility to ensure the youngest and most vulnerable road-users are safe when travelling to and from school. One of the easiest ways to do this is to ensure they wear high visibility material when walking, cycling or getting the bus to school. This will help other road-users to see them and to slow down when they are nearby.
Drivers in School Areas
Motorists should also be on the look-out for children making their journey to school and to modify their behaviour accordingly. Drivers should know and respect at all times the speed limit around special areas and schools. It is important for drivers to keep in mind that they must watch out for all children in special areas in public, as children often do not have the skills to cross roads safely.
Here are some Back to School Tips from the RSA:
- Understand the driving limit in the area you are driving, and always watch out for children and families crossing on special areas and nearby;
- Research shows that children under 12 should be accompanied if walking or cycling to school as they don’t have the necessary skills or experience to manage traffic or cross the roads safely. So make sure your child is accompanied by a responsible adult until they’re old enough to go on their own;
- If your child travels to school by bus or car, make sure they use the correct restraint at all times, for example, a child car seat, booster cushion or safety belt;
- Show them the correct way to get on and off the bus, in particular, where they should stand to safely wait for its arrival and before crossing the road;
- If your child walks or cycles to school, make sure they are wearing the proper safety and high visibility gear – a helmet and high vis if they cycle, and a high vis vest or armband if they walk. Make sure their bicycle has working lights, both front and rear, and a bell;
- For older children who may walk or cycle to school, it is important that they learn how to share the road safely with other road users, for example, how to use hand signals to indicate a manoeuvre and always obey the Rules of the Road;
- Teach your child the ‘Safe Cross Code’ and make it a part of their ‘going to school’ routine.
Remember, the best person to teach your child how to use the roads safely is you. So set a good example and always demonstrate safe road use when using the roads.