New Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Driving Disqualifications in Ireland and the UK to come into effect in February 2010
28 October 2009
New measures to deal with drivers who have been disqualified from driving on Irish and UK roads are due to come into force in the New Year. This move is the first of its kind among any EU Member States.
Minister Noel Dempsey today announced that the bilateral measures to bring the mutual recognition of driving disqualifications into force between Ireland and the UK, under the terms of the 1998 EU Convention of Driving Disqualifications, have moved closer to implementation with the making of our formal declaration to the EU Council this week. The Council will confirm the exact date of the implementation of the measures, which under the terms of the Convention normally come into force 90 days following the making of a formal declaration.
Speaking today Minister Dempsey said; “Both the UK authorities and ourselves have been working for some time now on bilateral arrangements to give effect to the Convention between our countries. The making of our respective declarations to the EU Council means that, with effect from February next year, Irish drivers disqualified in the UK for certain road traffic offences will have their disqualifications recognised and applied in this country. This move will target some of the most dangerous drivers on our roads. The agreement is a very significant road safety measure in the two jurisdictions and I very much look forward to its implementation in the New Year.”
The bilateral arrangements will also provide for UK drivers, who are disqualified by Irish Courts, having the disqualification also applied in the UK.
The Convention, which was signed by Ireland on 17 June 1998, sets out the framework for the mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between Member States and comes into force once all of the 15 Member States who are signatories ratify it.
In advance of the Convention coming into force, bilateral arrangements are allowed under Article 15.4 of the Convention.
Ireland and the United Kingdom have been co-ordinating their efforts on the making of their respective Declarations to the Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union under the terms of Article 15.2 of the Convention.
The Convention relates to disqualifications arising from a range of traffic offences as follows:
- Reckless or dangerous driving;
- Hit and run driving;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Driving while disqualified;
- Other conduct with a disqualification of six months or more (or less, if agreed bilaterally)
Mutual recognition is already in place between Britain and Northern Ireland with international recognition enabled under the UK Crime (International Cooperation) Act 2003.
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