An Garda Siochana has said it is “totally committed” to introducing an online portal where road users can upload dashcam footage of dangerous driving and expects such a system to go live in 2024.
Assistant Commissioner for Roads Policing & Community Engagement Paula Hilman told the Oireachtas Justice Committee the portal would be reliant on both funding and confirmation of the necessary legislation.
The committee was examining the enforcement of road traffic offences on Tuesday.
Ms Hilman said other jurisdictions where online portals are in operation had been examined, adding “we’re not sitting waiting for this, we are preparing for having what would be an online portal”.
“In many other jurisdictions it is not a matter of people just solely uploading [footage], people do need to make a report, they will get a link and they will upload that,” Ms Hilman said.
“Being realistic to the committee it will be in all likelihood 2024 before that would be going live for us.”
Fine Gael TD Ciarán Cannon said an online portal had been “very successfully implemented” in certain parts of the UK.
“There’s an expert group, a unit within the force, that can immediately assess whether or not an offence has taken place and then take subsequent action,” the Galway East TD said.
“I’m just wondering do you [gardaí] see a value in implementing something similar here whenever there is a serious road traffic incident on our roads.”
Green Party TD Patrick Costello said the measure had worked well in the UK and “I would love to know why it can’t happen here”.
Ms Hilman said it was “undoubtedly” something she and others supported and that the online portal was part of An Garda Siochana’s digital strategy and digital evidence management system.
She said in the interim the Garda Traffic Watch Scheme, which asks motorists to call a telephone hotline if they see inappropriate behaviour, was being relaunched.
Ciarán Ferrie, spokesperson for the cycling advocacy group I BIKE Dublin, said a significant issue with the enforcement of road traffic offences in the capital was the “fractured nature of its operation”.
“The local authorities, An Garda Síochána and, to a degree, the National Transport Authority, all have responsibility for enforcement of driver behaviour and it is often unclear where the lines of responsibility lie,” he said.
“The result is that many offences fall between the cracks - especially those that may be perceived as being of a less serious nature. This has led to a culture of impunity where people have little fear of enforcement and the law is routinely ignored.”
Andrea Keane, acting chief executive of Dublin Bus, noted the Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan doubled the fixed-charge penalty for parking on footpaths, cycle lanes or bus lanes from €40 to €80 last February while the fine for driving in a bus lane is currently €60.
“Given the strategic importance of bus lanes to the smooth operation of services, Dublin Bus feels that it would be appropriate to look again at the fixed charged penalty with a view to increasing the fines for illegally parking or driving in a bus lane,” she said.
Dr Madeleine Lyes, chair of the Limerick Pedestrian Network, said the practice of pavement parking was a “serious injustice that has a real effect on people”.
“Pedestrians rely on footpaths to be safe and free of obstacles that could force them into the road,” she said.
“Parking on footpaths particularly affects those with mobility difficulties, those who are blind or visually impaired, and anyone walking with pushchairs, children, guide dogs or using mobility aids. Pavement parking deprives people of their liberty, significantly reducing their options for freedom of movement.”