Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (958)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

958. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the steps he is taking to respond to the request by the National Transport Authority that it be given power to enforce the laws in relation to bus lane usage; if new legislation is being progressed which will give the authority the power to use automatic number plate recognition to carry out enforcement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45303/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

A proposal was submitted to my Department by the National Transport Authority (NTA) in relation to the enforcement of restrictions applying to bus lanes and the possible use of a camera based enforcement system to combat illegal usage of bus lanes. I understand from the NTA that this issue has also arisen during the recent public consultation on BusConnects.

Section 81 of the Road Traffic Act 2010 provides the legal vires for establishing prima facia proof of a commitment of an offence under the Road Traffic Acts (including section 35 of the Road Traffic Act 1994), and may be discharged by tendering evidence from electronic or other apparatus, including cameras. In relation to bus lanes usage, the prohibitions and restrictions applying to bus lanes are provided for in regulations made by the Minister under Section 35 of the 1994 Act, with enforcement being primarily a matter for An Garda Síochána. Such offences fall within the remit of the fixed charge system, which is administered by the Gardaí. There are no plans at present to confer such an enforcement role on the NTA.