Ross accuses 'legal insiders' of filibustering and delaying Judicial Appointments Bill

Ross accuses 'legal insiders' of filibustering and delaying Judicial Appointments Bill

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has accused “legal insiders” in the Oireachtas of filibustering in an attempt to delay the Judicial Appointments Bill.

He told Newstalk Breakfast that it was totally unacceptable to see “inordinate delays because of vested interests.”

Mr Ross said that the legislation “will go through in the end, just like the drink driving got through in the end despite months of filibustering.

“It is a terrible waste of parliamentary time.”

The Minister also said that his determination to introduce speed legislation was “a constant crusade.”

“Speed is a really big problem. We are trying to get people to give up their bead habits.”

Mr Ross rejected criticism that his proposed speed legislation will “clog up the courts”. This was not valid he said as there will be opportunities for motorists caught speeding to pay fixed penalties so there will be no need to go to court.

He pointed out that the number of pedestrians killed in accidents had risen by 32 per cent with speed a factor in many cases.

Speed fines on a percentage or proportional basis are still a long term possibility he said, but in the meantime it was necessary to change people’s attitudes to speeding.

The Minister also expressed his annoyance at the delay in the completion of a review of speed limits around the country. They are too low in some places and too high in others.

He acknowledged that planned legislation on the minimum safe distance for passing cyclists would have been unenforceable because of the difficulty in proving that motorists had not observed a safe passing distance.

The technology to prove the distance is not yet available, he said.

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