Posted by Larry on July 31, 2008 at 12:53:17:
Having just returned from my 6th trip to Ireland since 1992 I can attest that the ban on smoking and the tightening up on "drink-driving" has changed the Irish culture. You failed to mention in your article that the Irish government has recently passed a law which lowers the legal alcohol limit to 0.05% -- essentially closing the rural pubs when the law is enacted. It amazes me that the Irish government constantly blames the auto accidents on "drink-driving". They need to take a serious look at their roads and the speed limits on many of the roads. The windy, twisty narrow roads are far too bumpy and unlevel for safe travel. I realize it is difficult to do much with the narrow roads, particularly in the southwest, but doesn't the government see the problem with a posted speed limit of 80K on a narrow one lane road, and the same speed limit is allowed on a much larger 2 or 4 lane road? "Drink-driving" may very well be a problem in Ireland, but it is not the sole reason for such a high accident frequency. Once Ireland becomes the 1st country in western civilization to ban "any" drinking when driving they will surely then realize that there are other reasons for the country's high accident rate. The "Learner" driving permit in Ireland also seems to be a farce. On my last visit I read where a 75 year old man finally passed his driving test and no longer was on a "learner" permit, after 45 years of trying to pass the test -- getting serious about one's driving ability may also help reduce the accident frequency.