Thursday, 21 November 2019

Ceisteanna (208)

Marc MacSharry


208. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he is considering measures to ensure that in circumstances in which a person is found guilty of a penalty point offence, the correct number of penalty points are endorsed on their licence. [40157/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

Section 22 of the Road Traffic Act 2002 provides for the recording of driving licence details in such cases in order to ensure that the record of the conviction can be connected to a licence record and the appropriate penalty points endorsed on that record. That section provides that the presiding judge shall require the person to produce his or her driving licence or learner permit to the registrar, clerk or other principal officer of the court, and the court shall record whether or not the licence/learner permit has been produced and the details of same

Following from difficulties with the working of the original section 22, I amended this section to alter the procedure via the Road Traffic Act 2016.  This was done in consultation with the Courts Service, in order to ensure that the procedure was optimised.    

In addition to legislation, there are also procedural matters to consider.  Following the transmission of the relevant Court Order by the Courts Service to the Road Safety Authority (RSA) the information is placed on the National Vehicle Driver File (NVDF). A programme of work is underway to streamline this process involving my Department, the RSA and the Courts Service.

Primarily this programme will automate the current manual process for sending notification of driver disqualifications by the Court Services. Automation of this process will reduce the time taken to update my Departments National Vehicle Driver File (NVDF) with details of driver disqualifications. This reduction in time will reduce the risk of disqualified drivers obtaining licences because the National Driver Licensing Service (NDLS) were unaware of a disqualification. It will also help reduce any errors due to manual updating of disqualification notifications and driver records.

The programme of work involved is to be undertaken in two Phases. Phase I will automate records of disqualified drivers where a driver number has been captured while Phase II will cover all remaining records. Phase I is expected to be complete by the end of this year while Phase II will commence in 2020.

The average time for uploading a Court Notice taking account of the of its transmission from the Courts Service and uploading on the NVDF is 6 weeks, this includes the period of 14 days which is allowed for a driver to appeal the disqualification.