Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Public Accounts Committee

2017 Annual Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 20 - An Garda Síochána
Chapter 7 - Management of Overtime Expenditure in An Garda Síochána

9:00 am

Photo of Peter BurkePeter Burke (Longford-Westmeath, Fine Gael)
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In light of the pace at which new legislation relating to additional controls on drink-driving, drivers being obliged to carry their licences at all times and additional restrictions on speeding, etc. is being placed on the Statute Book, it is very difficult to have confidence in how the system is currently operating. That is alarming. The response to a parliamentary question I tabled indicates that only 6% of disqualified drivers surrendered their licences over the eight-year period from 2011. The rate was 7% in 2012 and 9% in 2013. During the eight-year period in question, only 11% of 83,000 disqualified drivers surrendered their licences, which implies that the remainder are still driving on our roads. Some 7% of fatal accidents are caused by disqualified drivers and, over the period, a number of fatalities have occurred. What is the process under which a person who commits a crime and goes to court or is otherwise disqualified from driving is allowed to retain his or her licence?