Road Traffic Act 1961

Powers of occasional examination, inspection and test.

20

20. (1) Where a member of the Garda Síochána observes a mechanically propelled vehicle or combination of vehicles in a public place and he suspects that there is a defect affecting the vehicle or combination which is such that it is, when in use, a danger to the public or, in the case of a public service vehicle, there is a defect affecting it which is such that either it is a danger to the public or it is rendered unfit for the carriage of passengers, he may inspect and examine the vehicle or combination and, for the purpose of carrying out the inspection and examination, may do all such things and make all such requirements in relation to it as are reasonably necessary.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section and without prejudice to the generality of the powers conferred thereby, a member of the Garda Síochána may—

( a) require the person in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle or combination of vehicles to bring it to a convenient place indicated by the member suitable for the carrying out of an inspection and examination under this section and not more than five miles distant by the shortest available route from the place at which the requisition is made, and to carry the member in the vehicle or combination,

( b) drive a mechanically propelled vehicle or combination of vehicles for a reasonable time and distance,

( c) require the person in charge of a mechanically propelled vehicle or combination of vehicles to drive it or cause it to be driven for a reasonable time and distance in such direction and manner and at such speed as the member directs, and to carry the member in it while it is being so driven,

( d) carry out or cause to be carried out such tests as the member considers reasonable.

(3) Where a member of the Garda Síochána has, F41 [ consequent upon an inspection and examination under section 12 of the Road Traffic Act, 1968, of a mechanically propelled vehicle, or ] consequent upon having inspected and examined under this section a mechanically propelled vehicle, reasonable grounds for believing that there is a defect affecting it which is such that it is, when in use, a danger to the public, he may—

( a) instruct the person in charge that it is not to be driven in a public place until the defect has been remedied,

( b) require the person in charge or the owner to submit it for a further examination and test at a specified time and place.

(4) Where a member of the Garda Síochána has, consequent upon having inspected and examined under this section a public service vehicle, reasonable grounds for believing that there is a defect (other than a defect referred to in subsection (3) of this section) affecting it which is such that it is rendered unfit for the carriage of passengers, he may—

( a) instruct the person in charge that it is not to be used for the carriage of passengers for reward until the defect is remedied,

( b) require the person in charge or the owner to submit it for a further examination and test at a specified time and place.

(5) Where a member of the Garda Síochána has, F42 [ consequent upon an inspection and examination under section 12 of the Road Traffic Act, 1968, of a vehicle drawn by a mechanically propelled vehicle, or ] consequent upon having inspected and examined under this section a vehicle drawn by a mechanically propelled vehicle, reasonable grounds for believing that there is a defect affecting it which is such that it is, when in use, a danger to the public, he may—

( a) instruct the person in charge that the vehicle is not to be drawn in a public place by a mechanically propelled vehicle until the defect is remedied,

( b) require the person in charge or the owner to submit the vehicle for a further examination and test at a specified time and place.

(6) A member of the Garda Síochána may test any pedal cycle and, for the purpose of carrying out the test, may do all such things and make all such requirements in relation to the cycle as are reasonably necessary.

(7) For the purposes of subsection (6) of this section and without prejudice to the generality of the powers conferred thereby, a member of the Garda Síochána may—

( a) drive any pedal cycle for a reasonable time and distance,

( b) require any person in charge of a pedal cycle to drive it or cause it to be driven for a reasonable time and distance in such a direction as the member directs.

(8) Where a member of the Garda Síochána has, consequent upon having tested under this section a pedal cycle, reasonable grounds for believing that it has a dangerous defect, he may—

( a) instruct the person in charge of the cycle that it is not to be driven in a public place until the defect is remedied,

( b) require such person to submit the cycle for a further test at a specified time and place.

(9) A person who, in a case in which a requirement under subsection (1), (2), (6) or (7) of this section has been made on him, contravenes the requirement shall be guilty of an offence.

(10) ( a) A person who, in a case in which an instruction under subsection (3) of this section that a vehicle is not to be driven in a public place until a defect is remedied has been given to him or in which he is aware that such an instruction has been given, so drives it or causes or permits it to be so driven before the defect is remedied shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to F43 [ a fine not exceeding 2,000 ] or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding three months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

( b) Where a person is charged with an offence under this subsection, it shall be a good defence for him to show that, at the time the instruction was given, there was not a defect affecting the vehicle which was such that the vehicle was, when in use, a danger to the public.

(11) ( a) A person who, in a case in which a requirement under subsection (3) of this section has been made on him, contravenes the requirement shall be guilty of an offence.

( b) Where a person is charged with an offence under this subsection, it shall be a good defence for him to show that, at the time the requirement was made, there was not a defect affecting the vehicle which was such that the vehicle was, when in use, a danger to the public.

(12) ( a) A person who, in a case in which an instruction under subsection (4) of this section that a vehicle is not to be used for the carriage of passengers until a defect is remedied has been given to him or in which he is aware that such an instruction has been given, so uses it or causes or permits it to be so used before the defect is remedied shall be guilty of an offence.

( b) Where a person is charged with an offence under this subsection, it shall be a good defence for him to show that, at the time the instruction was given, there was not a defect affecting the vehicle which was such that the vehicle was rendered unfit for the carriage of passengers.

(13) ( a) A person who, in a case in which a requirement under subsection (4) of this section has been made on him, contravenes the requirement shall be guilty of an offence.

( b) Where a person is charged with an offence under this subsection, it shall be a good defence for him to show that, at the time the requirement was made, there was not a defect affecting the vehicle which was such that the vehicle was rendered unfit for the carriage of passengers.

(14) ( a) A person who, in a case in which an instruction under subsection (5) of this section that a vehicle drawn by a mechanically propelled vehicle is not to be so drawn in a public place until a defect is remedied has been given to him or in which he is aware that such an instruction has been given, so draws it or causes or permits it to be so drawn before the defect is remedied shall be guilty of an offence.

( b) Where a person is charged with an offence under this subsection, it shall be a good defence for him to show that, at the time the instruction was given, there was not a defect affecting the vehicle which was such that the vehicle was, when in use, a danger to the public.

(15) ( a) A person who, in a case in which a requirement under subsection (5) of this section has been made on him, contravenes the requirement shall be guilty of an offence.

( b) Where a person is charged with an offence under this subsection, it shall be a good defence for him to show that, at the time the requirement was made, there was not a defect affecting the vehicle which was such that the vehicle was, when in use, a danger to the public.

(16) ( a) A person who, in a case in which an instruction under subsection (8) of this section that a cycle is not to be driven in a public place until a defect is remedied has been given or in which he is aware that such an instruction has been given, so drives it or causes or permits it to be so driven before the defect is remedied shall be guilty of an offence.

( b) Where a person is charged with an offence under this subsection, it shall be a good defence for him to show that, at the time the instruction was given, the cycle had not a dangerous defect.

(17) ( a) A person who, in a case in which a requirement under subsection (8) of this section has been made on him, contravenes the requirement shall be guilty of an offence.

( b) Where a person is charged with an offence under this subsection, it shall be a good defence for him to show that, at the time the requirement was made, the cycle had not a dangerous defect.

(18) Where a requirement is made under subsection (3), (4), (5) or (8) of this section—

( a) the person required shall have the right to be present at the examination and, if he exercises this right—

(i) he shall be afforded an opportunity of observing the examination,

(ii) he shall have the further right to bring with him to the examination another person selected by him and, if he exercises this right, the person accompanying him shall also be afforded an opportunity of observing the examination,

( b) if he does not exercise his right to be present at the examination, he shall have the right to be represented at it by another person selected by him and, if he exercises this right, the person representing him shall be afforded an opportunity of observing the examination.

In this subsection “ examination” includes “ test”.

Annotations

Amendments:

F41

Inserted (1.09.1968) by Road Traffic Act 1968 (25/1968). s. 6 and sch., S.I. No. 169 of 1968.

F42

Inserted (1.09.1968) by Road Traffic Act 1968 (25/1968), s. 6 and sch., S.I. No. 169 of 1968.

F43

Substituted (5.03.2007) by Road Traffic Act 2006 (23/2006), s. 18(1)(a) and table, pt. 1, ref. no. 4, S.I. No. 86 of 2007.

Editorial Notes:

E240

Penalty points in respect of driving vehicle before remedying dangerous defect under subs. (10) imposed on conviction (1.05.2009) by Road Traffic Act 2002 (12/2002), s. 2 and sch. 1 part 1 ref. no. 3, S.I. No. 149 of 2009.

E241

Previous affecting provision: fine in subs. (10)(a) increased (31.10.2002) by Road Traffic Act 2002 (12/2002), s. 23(1)(a) and table, ref. no. 4, S.I. No. 491 of 2002. Fine increased as per F-note above.

E242

Previous affecting provision: fine in subs. (10)(a) increased (18.07.1984) by Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 1984 (16/1984), s. 3(1) and table, ref. no. 11, commenced on enactment. Fine increased as per E-note above.