Saturday 18 January 2020

New tech allows gardai to identify rogue drivers

Gardai at the scene of an accident. Stock image
Gardai at the scene of an accident. Stock image

Gardai are to be given 2,000 high-tech mobile devices to check motorists' details on the spot.

They will tell officers in seconds whether a driver is disqualified or faces outstanding road traffic charges.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said a trial of 50 devices in Limerick had been highly successful.

Road safety groups, including Parc, have campaigned for the mobile devices, which give gardai the same technological support they would receive in a garda station.

However, Parc warned that such devices can only be as successful as the data they are given.

The group again demanded reforms to database resources to ensure Road Safety Authority and court details are accurate and up to date.

Mr Flanagan, in a Dail reply to Independent TD Tommy Broughan, confirmed the provision and deployment of the hand-held devices.

"There has been an unprecedented level of investment in garda resources across the State in recent years," he said.

"An allocation of €1.76bn has been provided to An Garda Siochana for 2019.


"Very significant capital investment is also being made, including €342m in garda ICT infrastructure between 2016 and 2021.

"This continuing investment in people and capital supports the Government's commitment to ensuring a strong and visible police presence.

"The implementation of the Policing Service For The Future report includes a specific action for gardai to acquire and commence the deployment of 2,000 mobile devices for frontline policing by Quarter Four of this year."

The devices - known as Mobile Data Stations - will support frontline members with special apps.

"It will provide the same access to information as if the garda were at a station," said Mr Flanagan.

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