Taxi Regulation Act 2013

41.

Prohibition on use of unroadworthy or defective vehicle, etc., as small public service vehicle - prohibition on use of unlicensed SPSV - seizure and detention

41. (1) Where an authorised person, having inspected, examined or tested under section 40 a small public service vehicle or a vehicle purporting to be such a vehicle, is satisfied—

(a) that the vehicle is not roadworthy,

(b) that there is a defect affecting the vehicle rendering it unfit for the carriage of passengers, or

(c) that an approved policy of insurance (within the meaning of section 62 of the Act of 1961) in accordance with regulations made under section 68 is not in force in respect of the vehicle,

he or she may require of the person in charge of the vehicle, or premises where the vehicle is at, that the vehicle not be used (within the meaning of “use” in section 22(7) ) for the carriage of passengers for hire or reward until an authorised person, following, as appropriate, a further inspection, examination or test of the vehicle at a specified time and place, is satisfied that the vehicle is roadworthy, that the defect has been remedied, that the vehicle is adequately insured or the appropriate standard or requirement is complied with, as the case may be.

(2) In addition to a requirement made under subsection (1) concerning a small public service vehicle or a vehicle purporting to be such a vehicle, an authorised person may seize and detain the internal, or external, signage or identification, or both, on or in the vehicle until following a further inspection, examination or test, an authorised person is satisfied that the vehicle is roadworthy, that the defect has been remedied, that the vehicle is adequately insured or the appropriate standard or requirement is complied with, as the case may be.

(3) Where a person fails to comply with subsection (1), an authorised person may seize and detain one or more of the following:

(a) internal, or external, vehicle signage, in or on the vehicle concerned;

(b) any identification, in or on the vehicle concerned;

(c) the vehicle concerned.

(4) Where following a search, inspection or examination of a vehicle under section 40 , an authorised officer is satisfied that—

(a) the vehicle is not licensed in accordance with licensing regulations, or

(b) the vehicle is carrying or displaying internal or external signage or identification (including a licence number) which does not relate to or apply to the vehicle or which is forged or altered in any way,

the officer may seize and detain the signage or identification or the vehicle or all of them.

(5) The Authority may issue guidelines to authorised persons for the purposes of this section.

(6) An authorised person who is not a member of the Garda Síochána shall not seize a vehicle under this section unless accompanied by a member of the Garda Síochána.

(7) A person who claims an interest in a vehicle or internal or external vehicle signage seized under this section may, not later than 60 days after its seizure, apply to a judge of the District Court within whose district the seizure was effected for an order directing the return to that person of the thing and the judge shall upon the hearing of the application—

(a) if satisfied that the seizure of the thing was properly carried out, confirm the seizure and detention, or

(b) if not so satisfied, order the return to the person of the thing seized.

(8) A judge of the District Court may adjourn an application under subsection (7) where he or she is satisfied the thing in question is, or is likely to be, required as evidence in any civil or criminal proceedings.

(9) Where a person who claims an interest in a vehicle or internal or external vehicle signage seized under this section—

(a) does not make an application to the District Court within the period referred to in subsection (7), or

(b) does make such an application within that period and the Court dismisses the application or the person withdraws it,

the Authority may dispose of it.

(10) The Authority may make regulations providing for the detention, removal, storage and subsequent release or disposal of a thing seized and detained under this section by an authorised person.

(11) Regulations under subsection (10) may, in particular and without prejudice to the generality of that subsection—

(a) authorise and provide for the recovery, from the owners of vehicles detained, removed, stored, released or disposed of, of charges in accordance with a prescribed scale, in respect of such detention, removal, storage, release or disposal,

(b) provide that vehicles seized and detained under this section shall not, unless ordered to be returned under subsection (7)(b), be released until any costs associated with the seizure and detention are paid,

(c) provide for the waiver or deferral of the charges mentioned in paragraph (a) in such circumstances as may be specified in the regulations,

(d) provide for the release, by or on behalf of persons referred to in paragraph (a), of vehicles removed or stored to such persons and upon such conditions as may be specified in the regulations,

(e) authorise and provide for the sale (or the disposal otherwise than by sale), by or on behalf of persons referred to in paragraph (a), of vehicles removed or stored and provide for the disposal of moneys received in respect of such sale or other disposal,

(f) provide for the release of a vehicle that is not to be further used as a small public service vehicle and any written undertakings to be given in that regard by the person seeking the release.

(12) Where a vehicle is seized under subsection (3) in respect of a matter referred to in paragraph (c) of subsection (1), the Authority may release the vehicle where a person who has an interest in the vehicle, within the period referred to in subsection (7), produces to an authorised officer an approved policy of insurance referred to in that paragraph.

(13) Where, before the expiration of the period of 6 months commencing on the date of the disposal of a vehicle by the Authority, a person satisfies the Authority that he or she was the owner of the vehicle at the time of its disposal, the Authority shall pay him or her any proceeds from the disposal less the sum of the charges due for the detention, removal and storage of the vehicle and the expenses reasonably incurred in the disposal of the vehicle.

(14) Any monies paid for the release of a vehicle under this section shall accrue to the Authority and shall be disposed of in a manner determined by the Authority, with the agreement of the Minister and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.