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THE posturing of the Vintners Federation of Ireland and their lobbying counterparts towards the reduced drink-driving limits contained in the Road Traffic Bill is pathetic.
To suggest that this revision is merely a PR stunt that will have no impact on saving lives is absurd, regressive and wholly unworthy of any responsible entity that seeks to influence public and political opinion.
The very same vested interests fought tooth and nail against the smoking ban six years ago and, thankfully, lost that campaign. If the political vice grip in which they traditionally held governments is weakening now this can be attributed to a basic lack of credibility and evidence to support the arguments they make.
Publicans — and especially rural publicans — need to become much more astute now in their approach to attracting and retaining customers. Too many of them are offering a customer experience that is stuck in a time warp which has been obsolete for decades now — filthy toilets, shabby facilities, no or simply awful food. One facet of public policy in the road traffic arena that would be worthy of further research is the relationship between suicide and vehicle collisions involving a single vehicle occupant.
Sadly, the number of suicides committed in this manner is greater than might be generally presumed to be the case.
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