Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Dáil Eireann Debate
145. Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Transport when his proposals to redress the issue of non-Irish registered drivers who fail to pay tolls will come into effect; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13066/10]
Minister for Transport (Deputy Noel Dempsey): The non-payment of tolls and penalties arising from road traffic offences incurred by out of State vehicles has been a matter of concern for some time. To address this issue in a North/South context, discussions between my Department and its UK and Northern Ireland counterparts resulted in an agreement to introduce a data exchange pilot project with Northern Ireland. This involves the transfer of vehicle ownership data which will allow the authorities in each jurisdiction to identify people who have not paid tolls or traffic penalties. It will then be a matter for the relevant authorities to pursue recovery of the outstanding amounts using this information. No change in the law is involved, nor does the agreement cover arrangements for the recovery of payments. The pilot project was launched at the North South Ministerial Council meeting on 3 March, and will run until the end of November this year.
The technical systems involved have been fully tested and are in readiness for live operation. It is expected that the process of exchanging the data between the relevant vehicle registration and licensing authorities in both jurisdictions will commence shortly. As the exchange process will rely largely on technical systems already in place there will be no ongoing additional cost.
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