Dáil Éireann - Volume 555 - 10 October, 2002

Written Answers. - EU Directives.

  142. Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Transport if road transport companies are to comply with the EU directive regarding seat belts for passengers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17741/02]

  Minister for Transport (Mr. Brennan): The EU Directives relevant to this matter are Directive 91/671/EEC of 16 December 1991 on the approximation of the laws of the member states relating to compulsory use of safety belts in vehicles of less than 3.5 tonnes and Directive 96/36/EC of 17 June 1996 adapting to technical progress Council Directive 77/541/EEC relating to safety belts and restraint systems of motor vehicles.

  Directive 91/671/EEC has been fully transposed into Irish law. As a consequence passenger vehicles with up to eight seats are required to have seatbelts fitted for each seat and these must be used by the seat occupants. In the case of larger passenger vehicles and goods vehicles with a maximum weight of 3,500 kilograms, the requirements apply to the driver and a passenger in a forward facing front seat only.

  EU Directive 96/36/EC provides the option for member states to require that all seating positions in new passenger vehicles with seating for more than eight persons, excluding the driver, are fitted with seat belts: vehicles designed to accommodate standing passengers are excluded.

  The question of how best to implement Directive 96/36/EC in respect of large passenger vehicles in general, is being addressed in parallel with the development of proposals for the enhancement of school bus safety.

  Question No. 143 answered with Question No. 114.