Europe

Disqualified drivers: Road Safety Authority wants database in Ireland

GARDA Image copyright RTÉ

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) in the Republic of Ireland wants to establish a formal database of drivers who are disqualified in a court of law.

A draft bill was sent to Irish Minister for Transport Shane Ross last year and the RSA hopes to see it made law within the next 12 months.

Currently it is being done on a "piecemeal basis".

The RSA said it is currently reviewing whether it will include disqualified drivers from Northern Ireland.

In a statement it added: "On the basis that we have the Mutual Recognition of Disqualified Drivers between Ireland and Northern Ireland and UK reinstated in the new 2016 Road Traffic Bill, we would be proceeding on the same basis.

That means if someone with a UK licence is disqualified in an Irish court, their name will appear."

There was a 15% increase in the number of people who lost their lives on Irish roads last year compared to in 2015.

Chief Executive of the RSA Moyagh Murdock said the rise was "very disappointing".

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, she said that there has been progress in many areas of road safety but drink-driving remained a big problem in Ireland.

She added that people do not surrender their licences after disqualification and many persist in driving after they are disqualified.

A spokesperson for Stormont's Department for Infrastructure said: "The mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between the two jurisdictions is expected to recommence early in 2017."