Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (565, 568)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

565. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the regularity with which communication is received by Garda headquarters from the Road Safety Authority informing it of drivers that have reached disqualification level due to the accumulation of penalty points; the way in which An Garda Síochána is informed; the follow-up that takes place with drivers who do not surrender their licences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21457/19]

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Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

568. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will report on the process of the Road Safety Authority of informing drivers when they have reached the disqualification levels due to the accumulation of penalty points; when An Garda Síochána is informed of the disqualification; the way in which An Garda Síochána is informed; the follow-up that takes place with drivers that do not surrender their licences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21456/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 565 and 568 together.

Any driver accumulating 12 penalty points within any given three-year period will be automatically disqualified from driving for six months. A lower threshold of 7 penalty points leading to disqualification applies to learner drivers and for the first two years after a driver obtains a full driving licence. Where a driver has a foreign licence a record will be created and the penalty points recorded on that record.

The Driver and Vehicle Computer Services Division (DVCSD) of my Department manages the computer records of all vehicles and drivers in the State, referred to collectively as the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF). This data is the definitive record in the context of motor tax collection and the issuance of driving licences, as well as enforcement initiatives and legal outcomes associated with these functions including the application of penalty points.

Having reached the penalty point threshold, the driver is notified of the disqualification by mail by the DVCSD. The driver is required to surrender his/her Irish or foreign driving licence to the National Driver Licence Service within 10 days of the disqualification commencing.

An Garda Síochána is notified weekly via a file share facility by the DVCSD of any persons who have been disqualified from driving having exceeded the specified number of penalty points relevant to their licence. The notification will also advise of the specific dates for the period of disqualification.

The requirement for a disqualified driver to surrender his or her licence is set out in the Road Traffic (Licensing of Drivers) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 537 of 2006). Failure to comply with the requirement to surrender the licence is an offence in itself and enforcement of the law is a matter for An Garda Síochána.

I am aware that Garda authorities are working to improve communication so that details of specific drivers who are disqualified are readily available to the Garda on the ground and I understand that an initiative to that effect will be rolled out under the Garda Modernisation and Renewal Programme 2016-2021. That Programme sets out a pathway so that each Garda has the technical tools that will give them direct access to all the information they need as they interact with the public on the ground.