New laws on learner drivers in effect from Saturday

Car owners who allow learner drivers to use their cars unaccompanied will face fines or jail terms under new laws coming into force from midnight tonight.

The Road Safety Authority said an average of 12 fatal road crashes a year involve a learner driver and about ten of those are not accompanied by a qualified driver.

Three years ago tomorrow Geraldine Clancy and her daughter Louise, from Kilworth in Co Cork, were on their way to the library before Christmas when they were involved in a collision with an unaccompanied learner driver.

Their car was caught upside down in a flooded ditch and they both died at the scene.

A student who was driving her father’s car was later given a suspended sentence.

After hold ups and opposition in the Dáil, the so-called Clancy Amendment comes into effect tonight – holding car owners equally responsible as learner drivers.

Car owners who allow learner drivers to use their car unaccompanied will face fines of up to €1,000, up to six months in prison, or could have their vehicles seized.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross said the measures are not about crucifying rural Ireland but about saving lives.


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