Sunday 25 August 2019

New App being rolled out to gardai to detect dodgy drivers

Garda Road Safety Awareness ahead of Bank Holiday weekend
Garda Road Safety Awareness ahead of Bank Holiday weekend
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

Sophisticated mobile technology is being rolled out to frontline gardai which will help root out drivers who are not properly licensed, disqualified, or haven’t got tax or insurance.

The mobile phone based app will allow gardai check licence and registration details with a number of different databases and enable a garda to issue fixed charge penalties (FPNs) from the roadside.

There are currently 50 of the units in use but Assistant Commissioner of the roads policing unit, David Sheahan, has said 2,000 units will be in operation all over the country by the end of the year.

Gardai will have the power to stop a car at random and input the driver’s details and the registration of the vehicle into the device which will instantly give an update on all the details of the driver and the vehicle.

Everything from whether the driver has a full licence and can drive unaccompanied, whether they are disqualified, or whether their tax and NCT is up to date, will be verified on the spot.

The system can also tell if the vehicle has been reported stolen, or if any active warnings are in operation.

Insurance details will also soon be added to the system in the coming months.

“This system will help put an end to roadside bluffing,” said Asst Commissioner Sheahan, citing examples of people who claim their tax is in the post or give false names or address details.

“The system is linked to the Eircode database, so if someone gives an address that doesn’t exist that will be flagged immediately,” he added.

The phones the gardai will be using will be encrypted, and can even operate in areas where phone signals or wifi connectivity is a problem.

“The garda vehicle will itself be wifi enabled to achieve the required level of connectivity, and if that system did not work the information can still be input into the device and it will be processed as soon as the device is back in connection,” Asst Commissioner Sheahan explained.

“The Mobile Data Station will allow the Garda Member to be more visible in the community, bringing the station right into the heart of the community and presents the opportunity for Garda members and staff to be more efficient and effective by having mobile access to relevant core policing applications, a wide-range of real-time information and the ability to input and update information ‘On-the-Go’,” he said.

He was speaking as the Gardai, the Road Safety Authority, and the Medical Bureau of Road Safety appealed for drivers to be cautious over the Bank Holiday Weekend, a time when more people will be traveling on our roads.

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