Written Answers. - Vehicle Inspectors.

Denis Naughten

Question:

525 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the plans he has to appoint public service vehicle inspectors in view of the fact that the number of inspectors has dropped by nearly 20% since 1999 while the workload has increased dramatically; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7671/01]

Denis Naughten

Question:

526 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the plans he has for the public service vehicle inspectorate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7672/01]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 525 and 526, together.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that there are currently 28 public service vehicle inspector posts, of which six posts are vacant at present. I have been assured by the Garda authorities that the Commissioner has put in place a procedure for filling these six posts.

I am further informed by the Garda authorities that the workload of public service vehicle inspectors is reducing as the national car testing facilities are being used for the certification of public service vehicles – taxis and hackneys – in conjunction with Garda testing.
Under the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations, 2000 the commissioner will cease the certification of small public service vehicles after the 30 June 2001 as this work will then be carried out by NCT.
The certification procedure currently occupies a considerable amount of time of Garda public service vehicle inspectors. The freeing up of the inspectors' time will allow them to concentrate on other road traffic and road transport enforcement duties.