Written Answers. - Garda Transport.

Liz McManus

Question:

53 Ms McManus asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if it is intended to provide the Garda with ram-proof patrol cars as sought by the Garda Representative Association; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17105/03]

I have been informed by the Garda authorities that the policy of the Garda Síochána is to purchase the safest possible vehicles having regard to the safety of its members. While the Garda Síochána is not aware of any vehicles which are specially designated as "ram-proof vehicles", every effort will always be made to provide members with the safest vehicles for the duties to which they are assigned.

Much research has been conducted and much debate has taken place within the Garda Síochána in relation to patrol car safety and impact resistance. The risk posed to the occupants of the vehicle and the general public will always be of paramount importance to gardaí.
I have been informed that all vehicles purchased for the Garda fleet must comply with all current legislation and all vehicles now purchased host a variety of safety features including side impact protection bars, ABS braking system, twin airbags and anti shatter window protection film. Many of these vehicles have other safety and comfort features, such as intelligent protection systems, crumple zones, side and curtain airbags, safety cages as an integral part of the vehicles structure, electric windows, air conditioning, driver lumber support and central locking.
I have been further informed by the Garda authorities that new models of vehicles are constantly tested and assessed for suitability for use by the Garda Síochána and that the safety of members and the general public will always be of paramount importance.
Question No. 54 answered with Question No. 31.