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Dáil Éireann debate -
Tuesday, 15 Apr 1969

Vol. 239 No. 9

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Traffic Wardens.


asked the Minister for Local Government if he will appoint a traffic warden to Camolin, County Wexford, for the safety of children attending the primary school which is alongside the main road.

The provision of a school warden service is a matter for the local authority to arrange with the consent of the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána.

Is the Minister aware that the primary school in Camolin is on the main road and this constitutes a considerable hazard to children leaving the school? The appointment of a warden is surely a matter for the Department of Justice but the Minister must have an overall responsibility: would he not do something to ensure the safety of the children daily leaving this school which is sited on a dangerous main road?

It is a matter for the local authority.

The Minister, representing the Minister for Justice, is totally indifferent as to whether or not the children leaving that school are run over and killed.

I am not representing the Minister for Justice and Wexford County Council has not been abolished yet.


asked the Minister for Justice the number of traffic wardens employed at the latest available date; the total amount collected up to the latest available date in on-the-spot fines; and if he will outline the duties of traffic wardens.

Traffic wardens were first employed on 15th October, 1968, and the present number is 120.

The total amount received in respect of "fines-on-the-spot" from the inception of the scheme on 1st April, 1963, to 31st March, 1969, was £339,048.

The duties of traffic wardens are mainly related to the prevention of parking offences. Where they find a continuing disregard of the parking regulations they issue notices of "fines-on-the-spot". The average number of notices issued by each warden in a four-hour day does not exceed seven. The wardens also attend courts as witnesses in hearings where offenders disregard the fine-on-the-spot notices.

Was the amount collected sufficient to pay them? I think it would be much more. I thought the duty of a traffic warden was to help people. Would the Minister not agree that the spirit of co-operation built up between the people and the gardaí is being grievously harmed at the moment because these wardens seem to spend all their time sticking notices of on-the-spot fines on people's cars?

In the main, they seek to prevent parking offences. It is only when they find persistent disregard of the parking regulations that they issue notices.

I travel a good deal through the city. I have never yet seen them helping or guiding traffic but certainly I have seen them with their note-books out, taking down the numbers of cars and sticking on-the-spot fine tickets on them. If the Minister will go just 200 yards from this building he will see them pursuing that activity. I maintain that they should be there to guide the people and the traffic. The spirit of co-operation that has been built up will be grievously harmed if this continues.

Is any of this money going back into the provision of car parks for the people?

That is a separate question. It does not arise here.

The matter to which Deputy Clinton refers is the responsibility of the Dublin Corporation.

It is a very important question.

It would befit them better to get on with that sort of work than to indulge in their present playacting.

You will not give them any money. You are taking a quarter of a million pounds per annum from them and you are giving back nothing.

Next question, please.