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Traffic law amendments on high-vis and cycling passing distance ruled out of order

— Minister to launch Road Safety Authority research on a passing distance law.

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Amendments to the Road Traffic Bill 2017 have been ruled out of order, according to a number of sources last night.

It includes the proposals for mandatory high-vis for pedestrians on unlit roads, for a minimum passing distance of people on bicycles and making it easier to provide traffic calming on private roads.

However — even after the ruling of the amendments out of order — a press release was issued by the Department of Transport under the heading “Road Traffic Amendment Bill 2017” relating to Road Safety Authority research on a passing distance law.

The notice said that — subject to weather conditions — transport minister Shane Ross launch the report today and will be joined by “supporters and campaigners” of the passing distance measure.

In an email to a member of the public, Fianna Fáil TD Bobby Aylward said he was supportive of the passing distance measure but that: “Unfortunately I have learned that the amendment was ruled out of order by the Government only today. I understand the reason cited for this decision is that of questionable relevancy to the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017.”

Another source said that it was the Ceann Comhairle, not the government who ruled the amendments out of order, but we were unable to confirm the process before publication this morning.

Aylward added: “Naturally we are very disappointed that the proposal for the minimum distance of 1.5 meters to be enshrined in legislation, brought forward by Fianna Fáil and my colleague Robert Troy T.D, will not now reach a vote in the Dáil as things stand and as was our intention.”

“As Committee Stage of this Bill is scheduled to be taken this week, I understand that Deputy Troy is continuing to work the issue and seeking to find a way to have this amendment included. I will stay in touch with Deputy Troy on this issue and send you and update as soon as I have it,” said Aylward.

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