Road Traffic Act 2002

Amendment of Act of 1975.

12

12.—(1) The following section is substituted for section 3 of the Act of 1975:

“3.—(1) ( a) This section applies to such of the offences specified in paragraph ( b) as may be declared by the Minister by regulations made after consultation with the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform to be fixed charge offences and an offence standing so declared is referred to in this section as a fixed charge offence.

( b) The offences referred to in paragraph ( a) of this section are:

(i) an offence under the Road Traffic Acts, 1961 to 2002 , relating to the prohibition or restriction of the stopping or parking of mechanically propelled vehicles,

(ii) the offence under section 18 of the Principal Act of contravening article 5 (prohibition of use of vehicles not displaying valid test disc) of the Road Traffic (National Car Test) Regulations, 1999 ( S.I. No. 395 of 1999 ),

(iii) an offence under section 73 of the Finance Act, 1976 ,

(iv) the offence under section 13 of the Roads Act, 1920, of using a vehicle for which a licence under the Finance (Excise Duties) (Vehicles) Act, 1952 , is not in force,

(v) the offence under regulations under the Roads Act, 1920, of not fixing to and exhibiting on a vehicle in the manner prescribed by those regulations of a licence in respect of the vehicle for the time being in force taken out under the Finance (Excise Duties) (Vehicles) Act, 1952 .

(2) Where a traffic warden has reasonable grounds for believing that a fixed charge offence is being or has been committed by a person—

( a) if the warden identifies the person, the warden shall serve, or cause to be served, personally or by post, on the person a notice under this section,

( b) if the warden does not identify the person and the offence involves the use of a mechanically propelled vehicle, the warden shall serve, or cause to be served, personally or by post, on the registered owner of the vehicle a notice under this section or shall affix such a notice to the vehicle.

(3) Where—

( a) a notice under this section is served on the registered owner of a mechanically propelled vehicle or affixed to such a vehicle, and

( b) the registered owner of the vehicle was not driving or otherwise using the vehicle at the time of the commission of the alleged offence to which the notice relates,

the registered owner shall—

(i) not later than 28 days after the date of the notice give or send to a traffic warden at a place specified in the notice a document in the prescribed form signed by the registered owner and stating the name and address of the person who was driving or otherwise using the vehicle at the time of such commission, and

(ii) give or send to a traffic warden within such period as may be specified by the warden at the place aforesaid such other information within his or her knowledge or procurement as the warden may reasonably request for the purpose of identifying, and establishing the whereabouts of the person referred to in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.

(4) Where a document referred to in subsection (3) of this section containing the name and address of the person who was driving or otherwise using the vehicle concerned at the time of the commission of the alleged offence concerned is given or sent to a traffic warden employed by a local authority, the authority shall, not later than 28 days thereafter, cause a notice under this section to be served, personally or by post, on the person.

(5) A notice under this section shall be in the prescribed form.

(6) If a notice is served pursuant to subsection (2)( a) or (4) of this section, it shall, without prejudice to subsection (5) of this section, contain a statement to the effect that—

( a) the person on whom it is served is alleged to have committed an offence specified in the notice,

( b) the person may, during the period of 28 days beginning on the date of the notice, make to the local authority specified in the notice at a place so specified a payment of a fixed charge of a prescribed amount accompanied by the notice, duly completed,

( c) if the person does not make the payment specified in paragraph ( b) of this subsection during the period so specified accompanied by the notice, duly completed, the person may, during the period of 28 days beginning on the expiration of that period, make to the local authority aforesaid at the place aforesaid a payment of a fixed charge of an amount 50 per cent. greater than the prescribed amount referred to in paragraph ( b) of this subsection accompanied by the notice, duly completed, and

( d) a prosecution in respect of the alleged offence will not be instituted during the periods specified in the notice or, if a payment so specified accompanied by the notice, duly completed, is made during the appropriate period so specified in relation to the payment, at all.

(7) If a notice is served or affixed to a mechanically propelled vehicle pursuant to subsection (2)( b) of this section, it shall, without prejudice to the generality of subsection (5) of this section, contain a statement to the effect that—

( a) an offence specified in the notice is alleged to have been committed,

( b) a person liable to be prosecuted for the offence may, during the period of 28 days beginning on the date of the notice, make to a local authority specified in the notice at the place so specified a payment of a fixed charge of a prescribed amount accompanied by the notice, duly completed,

( c) if a person such as aforesaid does not make the payment specified in paragraph ( b) of this subsection during the period so specified accompanied by the notice, duly completed, the person may, during the period of 28 days beginning on the expiration of the period specified in that subparagraph, make to the local authority aforesaid at the place aforesaid a payment of a fixed charge of an amount 50 per cent. greater than the prescribed amount referred to in paragraph ( b) of this subsection accompanied by the notice, duly completed,

( d) if the registered owner of the vehicle concerned was not driving or otherwise using the vehicle at the time of the commission of the alleged offence concerned, he or she is required by subsection (3) of this section—

(i) not later than 28 days after the date of the notice to give or send to the local authority specified in the notice at the place so specified a document in the prescribed form signed by the registered owner and stating the name and address of the person who was driving or otherwise using the vehicle at the time of such commission, and

(ii) to give or send to the authority aforesaid at the place aforesaid within such period as may be specified by the authority such other information within his or her knowledge or procurement as the authority may reasonably request for the purpose of identifying, and establishing the whereabouts, of the person referred to in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph,

( e) a prosecution in respect of the alleged offence will not be initiated during the periods specified in the notice pursuant to paragraphs ( b) and ( c) of this subsection or, if a payment specified in the notice accompanied by the notice, duly completed, is made during the appropriate period so specified in relation to the payment, at all,

( f) if a payment aforesaid accompanied by the notice, duly completed, is made during the appropriate period aforesaid, the registered owner need not comply with subsection (3) of this section,

( g) if the registered owner complies with the said subsection (3), a payment aforesaid need not be made by the registered owner and a prosecution of him or her in respect of the alleged offence will not be initiated, and

( h) subject to paragraph ( f) of this subsection, failure to comply with the said subsection (3) is an offence upon conviction of which the registered owner is liable to a fine not exceeding €800.

(8) Where a notice is served or affixed under subsection (2) of this section or served under subsection (4) of this section—

( a) a person or the person to whom the notice applies may, during the period specified in the notice, make to the local authority so specified at the place so specified a payment so specified at the appropriate time so specified in relation to the payment accompanied by the notice, duly completed,

( b) the local authority may receive the payment, issue a receipt therefor and retain it for disposal in accordance with regulations under this Act and no payment so received shall in any circumstances be recoverable by the person who made it,

( c) a prosecution in respect of the alleged offence to which the notice relates shall not be instituted during the periods specified in the notice or, if a payment so specified accompanied by the notice, duly completed, is made during the period so specified in relation to the payment, at all,

( d) in case the notice is served or affixed pursuant to paragraph ( b) of the said subsection (2) and a payment aforesaid accompanied by the notice, duly completed, is so made, the registered owner need not comply with subsection (3) of this section, and

( e) if the registered owner complies with the said subsection (3), the payment aforesaid need not be made by the registered owner and a prosecution of him or her in respect of the offence shall not be initiated.

(9) In a prosecution for a fixed charge offence, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, that a payment pursuant to the relevant notice under this section accompanied by the notice, duly completed, has not been made.

(10) Where, in a case to which subsection (2)( b) of this section applies, the registered owner of the mechanically propelled vehicle concerned does not furnish in accordance with subsection (3) of this section the information specified in paragraph (i) of that subsection, then, in a prosecution of that owner for the alleged offence to which the notice under the said subsection (2)( b) relates, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, that he or she was driving or otherwise using the vehicle at the time of the commission of the alleged offence.

(11) A notice which is affixed to a mechanically propelled vehicle under subsection (2) of this section shall not be removed or interfered with except by a person to whom the notice applies.

(12) A person who contravenes subsection (3) of this section shall, subject to subsection (8)( d) of this section, be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €800, and a person who contravenes subsection (11) of this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €800.

(13) It shall be a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (12) of this section consisting of a contravention of subsection (3) of this section for the person to show that the information concerned was not within his or her knowledge or procurement and that he or she had taken all reasonable steps to obtain the information.

(14) In a prosecution for an offence under subsection (12) of this section consisting of a contravention of subsection (3) of this section, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, that the accused person received the notice under this section to which the offence relates.

(15) In a prosecution of a person for—

( a) the alleged offence to which a notice under this section, served on the registered owner of a mechanically propelled vehicle, relates, or

( b) an offence under subsection (16) of this section,

a document, purporting to be a document under subsection (3) of this section stating the name and address of the person who was driving or otherwise using the vehicle at the time of the commission of the alleged offence referred to in paragraph ( a) of this subsection and to be signed by that registered owner, given or sent under paragraph (i) of that subsection by that owner to a traffic warden shall, until the contrary is shown, be deemed to be such a document and to be so signed and, in case the prosecution is for the offence referred to in paragraph ( a) of this subsection, shall be admissible, until the contrary is shown, as evidence of the facts stated in it.

(16) A person who, pursuant to subsection (3) of this section, gives or sends to a traffic warden information (whether or not contained in a document) that is, to his or her knowledge, false or misleading shall be guilty of an offence.

(17) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 10(4) of the Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act, 1851, summary proceedings for an offence under subsection (12) of this section consisting of a contravention of subsection (3) of this section may be brought at any time within 2 years from the date on which the offence was committed.

(18) In this section, references to a notice under this section, duly completed, are references to such a notice on which the number, the date of the grant, and the period of validity, of the driving licence of the person to whom the notice relates have been inserted by or on behalf of the person.”.

(2) Section 2 of the Act of 1975 is amended by the substitution of the following for subsection (1):

“(1) A local authority may, after consultation with the Commissioner of the Garda Síochána, make arrangements for the performance in the functional area of the authority, of the functions conferred on traffic wardens by this Act by persons employed by the authority or persons authorised in writing by the authority to perform those functions.”.

(3) Section 5 of the Act of 1975 is amended by the substitution of “an offence under section 3(12) of this Act” for “an offence under section 3(5) of this Act.”.

(4) Regulations under section 3 of the Act of 1975 in force immediately before the commencement of this section shall continue in force after such commencement as if made under section 3 (as inserted by this Act) of that Act and may be amended or revoked accordingly.