Dáil Éireann - Volume 556 - 24 October, 2002

Written Answers. - EU Directives.

  112. Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Transport if his Department have fully implemented the 1991 EC directive 91/226 on vehicle spray suppression and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19650/02]

  114. Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Transport his plans to fit spray suppression devices to heavy goods vehicles; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19652/02]

  Minister for Transport (Mr. Brennan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 112 and 114 together.

  Irish regulations require that, subject to certain exemptions, every vehicle and every trailer attached to a vehicle should be equipped with wings or other similar devices to catch, so far as practicable, mud or water thrown up by the rotation of the wheels, unless adequate protection is afforded by the body of the vehicle.

  Directive 91/226/EEC sets out the technical requirements which a spray suppression system must meet in order to obtain EC type approval certification for heavy goods vehicles. The purpose of the directive is to ensure that national standards for spray suppression equipment do not constitute barriers to trade. The directive ensures this by setting type approval standards and requiring that the sale of new vehicles fitted with the specified equipment may not be prohibited in any member state.

  While the directive does not require member states to make spray suppression systems obligatory, it is my intention to introduce regulations which will make the fitting of such systems mandatory on new vehicles. Retro-fitting spray suppression systems to vehicles already in use poses certain technical difficulties and has significant cost implications especially in the case of older vehicles. However, the question of requiring spray suppression systems on all vehicles is under consideration in the context of the proposed regulations to implement Directive 91/226/EEC. I expect that preparation of these regulations will be finalised shortly.