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Inishowen 'L' drivers warned 11.02.08

LEARNER drivers in Inishowen have been warned they can be prosecuted in the North for not having a licence.
The issue was raised by a Donegal North East deputy after a provisional licence holder from the county was prosecuted recently across the border.
Deputy Joe McHugh has now called for an overhaul of the licensing system, North and South of the border and the introduction of an all-Ireland learnerís permit. "This young person, who was prosecuted in a Northern Irish court, would not have been prosecuted had he been stopped south of the border.
"It is ridiculous that two different sets of laws exist within the island of Ireland. Drivers living in border areas fail to recognise that there are different laws on the roads just minutes from their homes and who can blame them?" he asked.
He said his proposal would see every 'L' driver on the island issued with a learnerís permit. These young drivers would also have to take five mandatory driving lessons before sitting their test.
"As things stand, provisional drivers on both sides of the border cannot cross the border, even with a fully licenced driver supervising them. Where is the mutual co-operation spirit of the Belfast Agreement here?
ďEveryone in this country has seen the devastation caused by road carnage and the authorities in both jurisdictions must tackle this problem together.
By introducing laws applicable to the whole island, both Governments have a chance to reduce the carnage on our roads. An all-Ireland learnerís permit would help do just this by stopping the confusion surrounding provisional license rules and helping in the fight against road deaths," added the Fine Gael deputy.
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