Saturday, May 13, 2006

Left hand drive

I don't know if there are statistics to prove or disprove this, but I've certainly developed the impression that a disproportionate number of deaths on our roads involve drivers from abroad in cars with the steering wheel on the "wrong (left) side". I also have the idea that most of these people and their cars are not simply here on vacation.

Now I know from talking to a few other people recently that I'm not the only one with this notion. There do seem to be an awful lot of cars from E. Europe on the roads here. If this is true, why isn't the government doing something about it?

One obvious step would be to make it uneconomical to move here with a left-hand-drive car. Slap a high tariff on such cars. Any car coming off a ferry should have a bar code sticker applied to it. Gardai could then be given scanners - as if they were supermarket employees - to scan these cars at will. If a car is here more than, say, 6 weeks - to allow for real holiday-makers - without being registered and taxed here it should be impounded.

I don't know if this entirely in keeping with the spirit of the common market, but something drastic has to be done. Stories like this one from Tuesday are way too common.