Dáil debates

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Topical Issue Debate

National Car Test

10:25 pm

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I will continue to monitor the situation. The average waiting time for tests currently is 11 days nationally. I am looking at how it stacks up per centre to address the very point to which Deputy Dooley referred.

On the earlier point regarding the concerns aired today on the operation of the penalty points system - the Deputy also asked me questions on the matter at a meeting of the Joint Committee on Transport and Communications earlier today - I received notification from my Department that an issue had arisen with the implementation of some penalty points. Upon receipt of the information, I immediately contacted the Attorney General to find out the necessary course of action I would need to take to deal with the matter. I expect to receive formal advice on the matter tomorrow. Deputy Dooley inquired whether I could tell him what the specific offences are, but I cannot do that at the moment because if a potential issue needs to be dealt with, given that it relates directly to road safety and the integrity of our road safety system, I wish to be sure I know exactly what the issue is and how the matter could be addressed. In order to do that, I will require the advice of the Attorney General, which I expect to receive tomorrow morning. I absolutely understand how central the credibility of our penalty points system is and the need to deal openly with any points or concerns people have in that regard. When I have received the advice and it becomes apparent that I need to take a certain course of action, be it legislative or otherwise, I will organise a briefing on the matter for Deputy Dooley and also for Deputy Ellis so that people are aware of the issue. I will answer any questions on the matter before it comes to the Dáil, if that is the course of action required.


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