Tuesday, 12 December 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
391. Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Transport the persons against whom penalty point offences committed by a driver with a foreign driver’s licence driving a commercial vehicle owned by their employer are recorded, the number so recorded in each of the years since the commencement of the penalty points regime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42269/06]
392. Ms Shortall asked the Minister for Transport the action he is taking to address the anomalous position of drivers with foreign driver’s licences vis-à-vis the application of penalty points and other road traffic penalties; if his attention has been drawn to the competitive disadvantage this places on Irish commercial drivers; the action he will take to regulate this sector to address this problem; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42271/06]
Under the Road Safety Authority Act 2006 (Conferral of Functions) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 477 of 2006) the Road Safety Authority has responsibility for ensuring that penalty points are endorsed on a licence record. Data in relation to penalty points is held on the National Driver File, which is administered by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. The data does not include information relating to the vehicle or the ownership of the vehicle.
Under EU legislation any driver with an EU licence is entitled to drive the categories of vehicle in respect of which that licence is granted throughout the EU without restriction. Drivers with non EU driving licences are entitled, under the International Circulation Order made under the 1949 Geneva Convention, to drive for a period of up to 12 months after which they are required to obtain an Irish licence if they have taken up residence. All drivers are subject to road traffic law and it is a matter for An Garda Síochána to enforce the law. As foreign licence holders have no Irish driving licence penalty points are recorded against that person on a separate record in the National Driver File.
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