Campaigners welcome decision to waive fees for documents related to fatal crashes

Families of crash victims have faced charges for copies of witness statements and abstracts of Garda reports

Campaigners welcome decision to waive fees for documents related to fatal crashes

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Road safety campaigners are welcoming the waiver of Garda fees for families of people killed in road crashes.

Up to now, families could be left with bills totalling thousands of euro to receive copies of all documents related to individual cases.

Copies of witness statements cost €40, while people have to pay €60 for a copy of an abstract of a Garda report.

Earlier this year, The Irish Times reported that the families of eight people killed in a crash in Donegal in 2010 were facing bills of more than €10,000 each for documents, due to the large amount of witness statements collected by gardaí.

As well as a waiver for documents related to fatal crashes, gardaí now say fees will be capped at €1,000 for documents related to collisions that result in a serious injury. 

The changes follow a campaign by road safety group PARC, which was supported by a number of TDs.

The revised charges and waivers will come into effect from January 1st 2017.

PARC Chairperson, Susan Gray, spoke to Newstalk Lunchtime about the campaign and Garda decision.

"A lot of families that have lost love ones on the roads, they want every bit of information they can gather," she explained.

"They want to know everything, and any information that's out there - be it witness statements or a Garda abstract report - to help them to understand what happened.

"They want this information, they're entitled to it, and we believe that they're entitled to it free of charge," she added.