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GRA: Need for multi-agency approach on suspended driving licences

The Garda Representative Association (GRA) president Jim Mulligan has defended the force’s ‘parading allowance’ saying it improves supervision, brings cohesiveness and greater efficiencies.

“It goes a long way to address supervision gaps,” he told RTE radio’s Today with Sean O’Rourke show.

Such gaps in the past had led to a number of controversies so it was important, he said.

The ‘parading allowance’, which he explained is a pre-tour briefing, is based on a Labour Court recommendation.

It is a solemn agreement and we expect it to be upheld. It is working time and you are on duty so you expect to be paid.

Mr Mulligan called for a multi-agency approach to suspended driving licences, pointing out that at present gardaí who stop a motorist have no way of knowing if their licence has been suspended.

He was responding to the revelation by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, in response to a parliamentary question, that of 83,000 drivers disqualified over the past eight years, just 11% have surrendered their licences.

The figure was as low as 7% in 2012. The rate was 13% last year.

“A multi-agency approach is required here from legislation to the courts, the Department of Transport, the Road Safety Authority, the insurance companies and the gardai on the front line.

“If I stop a car at the side of the road I have no way of identifying that the licence is suspended. I agree that we need technology at the roadside.”