Cartell.ie submits Bill to make Clocking Illegal

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

On Friday 11th June 2010 Cartell.ie, Ireland’s car history checking company, submitted a proposal to the Minister for Transport and the Transport Committee of the Houses of the Oireachtas, along with a complete Bill, which it drafted, recommending the criminalisation of vehicle clocking, and related matters. Cartell.ie is delighted that these proposals have already been the subject of a considerable amount of political comment.

The Bills office has accepted the proposals on vehicle clocking for discussion at the Committee stage of the Road Traffic Bill on Wednesday 16th June 2010.

The bill contains three elements aimed at combating clocking (the term clocking relates to the adjusting of a vehicles odometer to reflect a lower mileage), namely;

  • It will be an offence to tamper with an odometer either knowingly or recklessly.
  • It will be an offence to sell a clocked vehicle (privately or through a garage).
  • It is further proposed that a mileage certificate is issued with a vehicle being sold to verify its authenticity and it shall be an offence to falsify such.

Cartell.ie has taken the proactive step to draft a bill because, over the last four years of its existence, it has proved that clocking is rampant. A clocked car can be dangerous and potentially life threatening. “There is never any justification for clocking a car. Quite simply, it is dangerous and it is wrong which is why we at Cartell.ie have submitted this Bill.” Jeff Aherne, Director and co-founder of Cartell stated.

At present, the Gardai do not have sufficient powers to prosecute offenders. On a particular raid, the Gardai found clocked vehicles, but as they were not for sale, the Gardai could not prosecute. The National Consumer Agency pursued a few individuals for clocking and managed to get an “undertaking” from the offender that they would not clock again. Furthermore the way in which the Data Protection Act is being interpreted has meant Government Agencies have not assisted in developing the necessary mileage databases required to combat clocking.

It is proposed that the penalty for vehicle clocking would be a fine of up to €5000 or up to three months imprisonment on summary conviction or up to €10,000 and up to two years imprisonment on conviction on indictment.

“It is time that Ireland sends out a clear message that it will not allow its citizens be ripped off and put in harms way when laws can be passed to protect them. It has to be now in the Road Traffic Bill 2009, otherwise it will be another two years of misery for those who find themselves in clocked cars. Everyone needs to get behind this initiative. There is no justification for tampering with a vehicles odometer. We will hear from some in the motor industry that clocks have to be adjusted due to electrical failures and accidents. They are the exception and the bill allows for maintenance as long as the true mileage of the vehicle is reflected.” concluded Aherne.