Dáil Éireann - Volume 581 - 02 March, 2004
Written Answers. - Legislative Programme.
Mr. J. O’Keeffe Mr. J. O’Keeffe
183. Mr. J. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Transport if he will amend the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) Regulations 1963 to 2002 to make it clear that a person who uses a wheelchair can be regarded as a fit and proper person for the grant of a hackney vehicle licence, despite being unable to climb up and down stairs for the purpose of providing assistance to the hirer in loading and unloading luggage. [6823/04]
Mr. Brennan Mr. Brennan
Mr. Brennan: I have no proposals to amend the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) Regulations 1963 to 2002 in this regard.
As indicated in my reply to Question No. 134 of 28 January 2004, there are separate requirements for the granting of a hackney licence in respect of the vehicle and the granting of a small public service vehicle driver’s licence in respect of the driver of the hackney.
A hackney vehicle licence may be granted by the local licensing authority in respect of a particular vehicle following the presentation of a vehicle test certificate and a certificate of suitability issued in respect of the vehicle by the national car testing service, NCTS, demonstration that the use of the vehicle as a hackney is covered by insurance and the payment of the appropriate licensing fee of €250. Accordingly, a person who uses a wheelchair can be granted a hackney vehicle licence, subject to compliance with these requirements.
A hackney may only be driven by a person who holds a current small public service vehicle driver’s licence. Under the public service vehicles regulations, the consideration of applications for the grant of a small public service vehicle driver’s licence is administered by the Garda Commissioner. Applicants are required to have a current driving licence and must satisfy the Garda Commissioner that they are a fit and proper person to hold a licence to drive a small public service vehicle, that they have an adequate knowledge of general traffic regulations, the regulations relating to small public service vehicles and the area in which they propose to make services available as a driver of a small  public service vehicle. In these circumstances, it is a matter for decision by the Garda Commissioner as to the fitness of each individual applicant to be licensed to drive a small public service vehicle.
Dáil Éireann 581 Written Answers. Legislative Programme.