If you are found to be in breach of the regulations you will have an opportunity to pay a fixed charge rather than have a court appearance.
These type of offences carry a €60 fine if paid within 28 days and a €90 fine if paid within a further 28 days.
Those offences include:
- Using a vehicle not equipped with prescribed lamps and identification
- Mark lighting
- Using a trailer not equipped with prescribed lamps and identification
- Using a vehicle not equipped with prescribed rear projecting load lamp or
- lateral projecting load lamp
- Using a trailer not equipped with prescribed marker lamp
However, for other lighting related offences, you could receive a summons to court, if convicted you could be fined up to €2,500, be given a prison sentence, or both.
With the exception of where it can be shown that the vehicle was taken with out the owner's permission, both the owner of the vehicle and whoever is driving it when the offence is recorded can be fined.
Weight, dimensions and coupling
There are a number of changes to the rules regarding trailer weights, and for tractor and trailer towing combinations which are listed on the previous page.
There are no exemptions to the weight restrictions and you should consult the detailed guidelines about weight as well as coupling and permitted dimensions.
The penalties are severe if found in breach of these regulations - you could receive a summons to court. If you're convicted, you could be fined up to €2,500, receive a prison sentence, or both.
Under the new measures the trailer must have a sticker signalling the maximum design speed that it is intended to travel.
In addition, the authorisation plates (seen on previous page) on trailers must show the manufacturer's name, vehicle identification number (VIN), maximum design speed and permitted laden weight, maximum drawbar loading, vehicle length and width. A manufacturer's plate must be fitted to a tractor.
However, tractors first registered before January 1, 2016 will not be required to have plates fitted if the tractor cannot travel at speeds over 40km/h or if it is being used to draw either tandem or a tri-axle rigid drawbar trailers with laden weights of 19t or 22.5t or less respectively.
Trailers manufactured before January 1, 2016 will not be required to have plates retrofitted unless they are rigid drawbar trailers designed to travel at speeds over 40km/h or are designed to operate at laden weights greater than 19t or 22.5t respectively.
If you don't comply with the new standards, you could receive a court summons. If you're convicted, you could be fined up to €2,500, be given a prison sentence, or both.
You should contact the manufacturer for guidance on the plate contents.
You should also bear in mind that if you are borrowing equipment which does not meet the requirements you will also be guilty of an offence.
Theresa Murphy is a barrister based in Co Galway