Answered in Dáil
*To ask the Minister for Transport and the Marine when he proposes to fully commence Section 36 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2003.
- Jack Wall. (Nominated by: Róisín Shortall).
For ORAL answer on Thursday, 28th June, 2007.
Ref No: 17911/07 Lottery: 57 Proof: 49
Answered by the Minister for Transport and the Marine
Section 36 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2003, as amended, provides for a system whereby persons who have been convicted of certain specified offences are automatically disqualified from applying for or holding a small public service vehicle driver or vehicle licence. These include the offences of murder, manslaughter and various sexual, drug trafficking and other offences.
Before commencing this section in full, the Gardaí and the Commission for Taxi Regulation are modernising current licensing arrangements for drivers by
(i) transferring the driver licensing function from the Garda Síochána to the Commission, and
(ii) the Gardaí introducing new vetting arrangements.
As soon as these arrangements are in place, I expect to be in a position to make the necessary commencement order.
However, to facilitate drivers and vehicle licence holders with a history of previous relevant convictions, and following consultation with the Commission for Taxi Regulation, the Gardaí, the Courts Service and others, my predecessor made a statutory instrument to commence subsections 2(A), 3, 3(A) and 4 of section 36 of the Taxi Regulation Act 2003 with effect from 25 May 2006. The measures in these subsections allow existing licence holders or licence applicants who have been convicted of specified offences to apply to the courts to be allowed to apply for a licence under such terms and conditions as the court may direct. This allows such individuals to clarify their situation in advance of the full commencement of the section.
An appropriate period of advance notice of the proposed full commencement of the section is envisaged to allow persons who may be affected by the provisions, in particular existing licence holders, to clarify their position with the courts if, at that stage, they have not already done so.