Minister calls on vintners to 'get off the pitch' as vote on Road Traffic Bill approaches

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has today challenged TDs opposed to a new Bill to combat drink-driving to step up and support it.

The Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017 would see mandatory driving bans for anyone caught breaching the current blood-alcohol limits.

"I would call upon the vintners, who are opposing this Bill, to get off the pitch," he said.

"I call upon Micheál Martin to support the Bill - I know his heart is in the right place on issues of this sort."

Some rural TDs have suggested it is unfair - particularly for those in rural Ireland who cannot easily get home from the pub.

Kerry TD Danny Healy Rae has suggested it is acceptable for people to drive after three glasses, or one and a half pints, of beer.

Road safety activists have hit out at TDs who are opposing the Bill.

"People were very angry in there today, because we feel that we're not being listened to, the lives of our relatives are not being valued," said Anne Fogarty from PARC Road Safety Group.

"And our lives out there and all of your lives out there are not being valued by those TDs who want to vote against this Bill."

A number of Government Ministers have been opposed to the Bill, but are expected to vote for it.

Minister Ross also confirmed measures are being looked at to improve rural transport so people in remote areas are less inclined to drink and drive.

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