Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton has announced that blue lights and audible warnings will be introduced to Mountain Rescue Ireland (MRI) vehicles.
Hildegarde Naughton, who is Minister of State at the Department of Transport, said it is expected that the appropriate legislation will be in place in the first half of 2023.
She said it is right that the use of blue lights and audible warning are restricted to emergency vehicles responding to life-threatening and time critical scenarios.
But she said we should now include MRI as part of that group of essential services that can utilise them.
“From a road safety perspective, An Garda Síochána, MRI and the department have identified the need for advanced driver training for MRI volunteers in order to use blue lights and audible warnings responsibly and safely.
“However, the department also recognises that MRI is a voluntary organisation, with limited funding.”
The Department of Transport will provide the necessary funding for driver training on behalf of MRI.
This will allow their current funding to continue to be used on life-saving equipment and suitable vehicles.
“I want to thank Mountain Rescue Ireland and all of their volunteers for their hard work and dedication,” added Minister Naughton.
“These volunteers deserve our respect, support and gratitude, and I am confident that this measure will allow them to continue to provide the extremely high level of service they have delivered to date.”