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Dublin: 11°C Sunday 25 October 2020

'Pay up or else the car is seized': Gardaí to give drivers chance to pay backtax at checkpoints

The system claims to save the state money and speed up the processing of tickets.

Image: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

MEMBERS OF THE Garda Roads Policing Unit (RPU) will soon be able to give motorists whose tax is out to pay off their debts at the roadside instead of having their car seized.

Around 50 gardaí based in Limerick are trialling a new so-called Mobility system which allows them to access their email on the move and check a vehicle’s history and tax status.

The pilot is part of the Garda ACTIVE Strategy, which is a key element of the garda modernisation project.

Assistant Commissioner Dave Sheahan said that the pilot progress has been a resounding success and he said he hoped to roll it out to all members of the RPU by the end of the year. 

Sheahan described how the new system will save the state money and speed up the processing of tickets. 

Speaking in front of the Policing Authority, he said: “Last Friday – what would happen before was a garda wrote a ticket and then that ticket would be brought back to station and had to be inputted into a book that would have to be sent to Thurles to put in on the system.

“What we have done now is that we have built an app and with the app you can deal with the person on the side of the road.” 

Sheahan described the benefit of the system when one garda stopped a car in Limerick last week.

“We stopped a car whose tax was out for 8 months. As a result of the mobility system, we could look at the info there and then. We were able to engage with that individual and he backtaxed his car and paid it for the next 12 months there and then because he was able to get his pin number. He had opportunity of taxing his car rather than us seize his car. 

“That has huge implications not only for ourselves but for the Department of Transport and the courts system and we don’t have to tow the car.”

The assistant commissioner also urged road users to drive carefully this bank holiday weekend as he revealed that the detection of certain road traffic events has increased sharply this quarter. 

The use of mobile phones up is up 24% this year to date – that’s an increase of 1,000 detections compared to the first quarter of 2018. Drink driving is up 18% and GoSafe van driving detections is up 31%.

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