O’Mahony outline concerns with Non-Use of Motor Vehicles Bill 2013

April 25, 2013  

Speech by Mayo Fine Gael TD John O’Mahony on the Non-Use of Motor Vehicles Bill 2013, Dáil Éireann Wednesday 24thApril 2013

I welcome the opportunity to contribute briefly to the debate on the Non-Use of Motor Vehicles Bill 2013, which puts the responsibility on vehicle owners to declare non-use in advance rather than retrospectively. In view of the amount of avoidance or evasion, it is only fair on those who are compliant that everybody else is brought into line. It is estimated that €50 million will come into the Exchequer as a result. I have no doubt plenty of homes will be found for that money, or savings may not have to be made in other areas. It will go towards protecting vulnerable persons in other areas. From that point of view, the Bill is welcome.

However, there are a few issues that the Minister of State may be able to clarify or take into account before the legislation is passed. When the Bill was announced, media reports suggested one had to give three months’ advance notice before taking a vehicle off the road. That is fine if it was planned.

I was contacted by a person who has a medical condition and was advised by her consultant not to drive for the next six months. It is difficult for anyone to give notice three months in advance of getting sick. However, the Minister of State has provided clarification as I speak. It is important that such exceptions be taken into account.
There may be an issue for road hauliers. Companies with fleets of trucks may not know from month to month whether they will be doing business and if they will be on or off the road. As this is a very important industry, I ask if there can be some engagement. Perhaps those exceptions can be dealt with.

I have no issue with the overall Bill and the thrust of it. The issue needed to be addressed, given all the money lost to the economy. There may be other exceptions that have not occurred to me which we should deal with to ensure a level playing field where a vehicle owner does not have sufficient control over circumstances to allow the giving of advance notice.