Deputy Broughan has continued to ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality for updates on wording of summonses to allow for prosecutions to take place under section 22 of the Road Traffic Act 2002, which relates to the non-production of driving licences in Court. Previous replies from the Tánaiste from the 19th of October 2016, the 2nd of November 2016 and the 15th of November 2016 all stated that the Tánaiste had asked An Garda Síochána for an urgent report on the matter. Finally, on the 11th of April 2017, Deputy Tommy Broughan received the following reply:
“The Deputy will be aware that Section 33 of the Road Traffic Act 2016 amends section 22 of the 2002 Road Traffic Act to ensure that drivers convicted in court produce their driving licence so penalty points can be recorded on the driver file. The 2016 Act provides for a new requirement for the presiding judge to ask a driver convicted in court for a driving offence to produce his/her licence to the court. The court will then record the licence details, or the fact that it was not produced, with failure to produce a licence an offence. This provision will tighten up existing procedures to enable penalty points to be matched to driving licence records following conviction in court. I am informed by my colleague, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, that Section 33 of the Act of 2016 will be commenced on 13 April 2017.
I can confirm that the report referenced by the Deputy was received in November 2016. The issue was the subject of discussions involving the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Courts Service, An Garda Síochána and the Director of Public Prosecutions and legal advice was obtained in relation to the wording of the relevant summonses, which will reflect the revised legislative position following the commencement of Section 33 of the Act of 2016”.
Deputy Broughan says “In November 2015, Judge Marie Keane dismissed the 21 cases before her for the offence of drivers failing to produce their licences in court and ruled that the summonses were “fundamentally flawed”, because a person who comes before the court is entitled to know the consequences that flow from not having produced their licence. Myself and representatives from civic society group PARC (Promoting Awareness Responsibility and Care on our Roads) have been pursuing this important matter for years and I welcome news that it seems that it will finally be rectified following the commencement of Section 33 of the 2016 Act by Minister Ross tomorrow, the 13th of April. The number of licences recorded on conviction remains far too low but at least now prosecutions can be brought against those drivers who do not bring their licences to Court. It is a small step in the right direction.”
Tags: road safety