'Quashed ticket' motorists in fatal crashes
A motorist who was caught driving at 155km in a 100km zone and had his speeding ticket quashed was later involved in a crash in which another driver died, according to data released by four TDs yesterday.
A second motorist, who was killed in a crash in 2012, had a speeding ticket quashed by an inspector a month earlier. A third motorist, who had been speeding at 135km in a 100km zone and had his ticket “terminated” by a Garda inspector, was later involved in a hit and run and killed a pedestrian.
The 20 examples released by TDs Clare Daly, Mick Wallace, Joan Collins and Luke Ming Flanagan were from a dossier put together by two Garda whistleblowers. The TDs said they had been warned by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner not to release the full dossier, which included names, locations and specific dates.
In six of the examples, motorists who had speeding offences quashed by gardaí were later involved in fatal crashes.
The TDs said they wanted to give details of the dossier because when the matter had been raised in the Dáil last week, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter suggested he had only been given details of 400 quashed tickets and these had been “whittled down” to 200. This was not the case, they said.
‘Ignored and whitewashed’
Mr Wallace said complaints about the quashing of tickets had been “ignored and whitewashed”. Since the matter was in the Dáil, they had been contacted by gardaí and ex-gardaí to tell them to continue asking questions. The force was being undermined by those who were not doing their job properly and it was unfair to “honest and hard-working gardaí”.
Mr Shatter said the TDs were pre-empting a Garda inquiry, led by Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney. He said he would give Mr Wallace the “Santa’s Brass Neck Award 2012” and he accused the TDs of pursuing publicity.
“Deputies Wallace, Daly, Collins and Ming Flanagan choose to ignore, as explained last week, that there are legitimate circumstances in which individuals properly have fixed-ticket charges cancelled.” If the investigation identified “any impropriety or procedural irregularities”, these would be fully addressed. “Should the current investigation leave any questions unanswered, it will be a matter to be referred to the Garda inspectorate,” he said.