120. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if the traffic watch lo-call number will be converted to a free call number due the cost of waiting for a reply which can place undue expense on the callers that are carrying out their civic duty in reporting dangerous driving behaviour; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22213/19] Amharc ar fhreagra
As the administration of the traffic watch phone line is a matter for An Garda Síochána, I have asked An Garda Síochána for a report in response to the Deputy's query.
I will contact the Deputy directly on receipt of a Garda response.
The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A
I refer to Parliamentary Question 120 of 22 May 2019 where the Deputy asked whether the traffic watch lo-call number could be converted to a free call number because of the expense incurred by callers. The parliamentary question has been brought to the attention of An Garda Síochána.
The Traffic Watch lo-call number is generally used to report aggressive driving, driving hazards and other traffic related incidents. However, in emergency cases, i.e. danger to life or serious risk of injury, members of the public should always contact 112 or 999.
Traffic Watch is a partnership between An Garda Síochána, Transport Infrastructure Ireland and the Road Safety Authority. It brings road users, An Garda Síochána, the National Roads Authority and the Road Safety Authority together in a united and sustained effort to improve safety on our roads.
The calls are answered and logged by civilian personnel at the Garda Information Services Centre in Castlebar, with incidents then being forwarded to the relevant District Officer (Superintendent) for investigation. The District Officer will appoint a member of An Garda Síochána to investigate a Traffic Watch complaint, who will contact with the complainant to establish the facts, and discuss possible action.
I understand from An Garda Síochána that thee are no plans at present to move away from a lo-call number. This is an issue which Traffic Watch may wish to examine further in the future.
I hope that this is of assistance to the Deputy.