DOUGLAS taxi-driver and would-be MHK Martin Moore has called for the government’s Road Traffic Licensing Committee (RTLC) to be disbanded on grounds of ‘gross incompetence’ and being a waste of taxpayers’ money.
Moore, who had to pull out of the 2011 general election due to a registration issue, spoke to the Examiner after reporting the RTLC to the Data Protection Supervisor over an alleged breach.
Mr Moore said: ‘After presenting a vehicle to the Vehicle Testing Centre, which didn’t pass, I received a letter from the RTLC questioning my suitability to have a Public Passenger Vehicle licence. At this stage, the vehicle is of no concern to the RTLC, and using reference-only information to take action against me is an abuse of power.’
He continued: ‘The responsibility for vehicle licensing used to be with local authorities, and I’m told the cost to each was negligible. The RTLC runs at a big loss to the taxpayer, and in the 12 years it has existed I can’t see any real benefit to the general public. This is a perfect money-saving opportunity to give responsibility back to the local authorities.’
The Data Protection Supervisor’s office was not able to comment on whether an investigation was ongoing, though a spokesman explained that, in general cases, data protection law sets out that parties have to have a legitimate reason for obtaining and making use of people’s personal details.
Michael Morrison, acting secretary to the RTLC said: ‘In general terms, if a vehicle registered with us goes for testing, we are notified; pass or fail.
‘We keep a publicly available register of taxi drivers, and other public drivers. If a vehicle fails we may then contact the owner – if we thought it was a matter of public safety – to ask the person why.’
He added: ‘We are here to protect the public, and also to ensure fair trade.’
Mr Moore’s issue – and grounds for his reporting of the RTLC to the Data Protection Supervisor – is his claim that a separate database was used to unlawfully identify him and take action against him.