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Written Answers. - Road Traffic Offences.

Thursday, 17 October 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 555 No. 4

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 18. Cecilia Keaveney Information on Cecilia Keaveney Zoom on Cecilia Keaveney  asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell  if his attention has been drawn to the stingray system which is operated in Northern Ireland to catch people who drive without tax since January 2002; if he sees an opportunity to introduce a similar system into this jurisdiction which, using the same concept, could target insurance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18254/02]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. McDowell): Information on Michael McDowell Zoom on Michael McDowell The current position is that the Road Traffic Act, 1961 prohibits the use of uninsured vehicles in public places. It is also an offence, subject to certain exceptions, not to display an insurance disc on motor vehicles. In addition, the Garda Síochána has the power to request the production of a certificate of insurance and to detain, remove and store uninsured vehicles. The Road Traffic Act, 2002 provides that a fine of up to €2,500 may be imposed by the courts for the offence of using an uninsured vehicle. This offence will attract penalty [1133] points when the new system is fully operational resulting in automatic disqualification for persistent offenders. The courts also have powers of disqualification and imprisonment.

It appears the Deputy is referring to a device which is used in some other jurisdictions to detect unlicensed vehicles. The use of such a device to detect the use of uninsured vehicles would require an amendment to the Road Traffic Acts. Therefore, I am referring the Deputy's proposal to my colleague, Deputy Seamus Brennan, Minister for Transport, who is responsible for this legislation.

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