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New rules on the road


Posted by | Evil Kristos | April 24, 2009 | No Comments

Today I read something funny, well kind of anyways. From May 1st drivers without a valid NCT certificate will be awarded 5 penalty points and fined up to 1500 Euro. This announcement lead to – guess what – the NCT booking system crashing. Looks like there were quite a few people out there who until now took this rather easy and as a result started panicking. NCT report that they were receiving up to 25.000 inquiries a day which is about five times the usual amount. There system simply can’t cope with the demand. As a result there is a waiting list that stretches well into June.

This situation is facing drivers with a choice of either taking the risk to get fined or leave their vehicles at home. An interesting choice that is. So what are we going to do now? Taking the bus? Just for the laugh?

Obviously Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey didn’t do much thinking when he announced his latest effort to restore public finances. Don’t get me wrong. I totally agree with the concept of having a valid NCT certificate. The thing that gets me is that the Minister of Transport obviously assumed that it would have no impact if he announces in mid April that there are some major changes being introduced by May.

For once I have to agree with Fine Gael TD Jimmy Deenihan that has accused Dempsey of “zero planning”. We quote: “Failure to plan for the most obvious result on the NCT penalty points has left thousands of drivers in the lurch and will not aid in the fight to save lives.”

Minister of Transport just seems to be one of these jobs where you can make public statements no matter how stupid they are and you get away with it.

I am not sure if it was the Noel Dempsey that answered to the question raised by annoyed motorists who queue on the M50 toll bridge every morning just to be ripped off but it sure was the Minister of Transport who said: If drivers want to use the M50 they can pay for it.

It’s this attitude, this obvious disinterest in the job or failure to realise even the most obvious things that pisses me off. Just to stick with the example; people don’t take the M50 because they want to they take it because there is no alternative. What does the minister want them to do; drive right through the city? City centre already is a grid lock and some people drive to work 4 AM just to avoid the traffic because otherwise it would take them too long.

Giving toll bridge, this chokepoint of Dublin city traffic, to private investors so they can charge people whatever they want is suspicious in the first place and that the least to say. It would be interesting to know what the government received in exchange for that. I hope not just a bridge and 100 meters of road because that would be stupid even by Minister of Transport standards.

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