Dempsey signs order to facilitate mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between the UK and Ireland 28 - 01 - 2010
Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey TD today announced a new provision to facilitate the mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between Ireland and the UK, which comes into operation today, 28 January 2010.
Speaking today, the Minister said: "The mutual recognition of driving disqualifications marks a very significant road safety measure because it aims to target some of the most dangerous drivers on our roads. It is a good example of the co-operation that exists between our three jurisdictions and separately, our joint determination to save lives and reduce injuries on our roads. "
Last year saw the lowest number of road deaths on Irish roads since records began. 2009 also saw Ireland take some very decisive steps to address road safety issues. These included the publication of the Road Traffic Bill, the introduction of a new certification and registration scheme for driving instructors and the finalisation of the safety camera contract by Minister Ahern and Garda Commissioner Murphy. This year will see other important measures coming into effect, as new items will be tested as part of the NCT to improve vehicle safety.
The Minister continued: "The purpose of this new Order is to put in place a mutual structure to recognise disqualifications between the UK and Ireland. By implementing this new measure, we are sending out a clear message that the most dangerous drivers on our roads are being targeted. I look forward to working with our colleagues in the three jurisdictions on this measure that will save lives on our roads.
The framework for the mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between Member States is contained in the 1998 EU Convention of Driving Disqualifications drawn up on the basis of Article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union on Driving Disqualifications done at Luxemburg on 17 June 1998.
In advance of the Convention coming into force, bilateral arrangements are allowed under Article 15.4 of the Convention.
Following the completion of the preparatory work between Ireland and the UK Authorities, to enable such arrangements to give effect to the Convention between our countries, a formal Declaration, under Article 15.2 of the Convention, was made to the Secretary General of the EU Council on 30th October 2009. A 90-day period is allowed before the measures can take effect. Accordingly, and with effect from 28 January 2010, Irish drivers disqualified in the UK and NI for certain road traffic offences will have their disqualifications recognised and applied in this country. Similarly, UK and NI drivers disqualified by Irish Courts will have their disqualifications recognised in their home country.
What offences are covered by the Convention?
The Convention relates to disqualifications arising from a range of traffic offences, such as:
Reckless or dangerous driving (whether or not resulting in death, injury or serious risk).
Wilful failure to carry out the obligations placed on drivers after being involved in road accidents (hit-and-run driving).
Driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other substances affecting or diminishing the mental and physical abilities of a driver. Refusal to submit to alcohol and drug tests.
Driving a vehicle faster than the permitted speed.
Driving a vehicle whilst disqualified.
Other conduct constituting an offence for which a driving disqualification has been imposed by the State of the offence
- Of a duration of six months or more,
- Of a duration of less than six months where that has been agreed bilaterally between the Member States concerned.