Dozens are banned more than once after clocking up points
Published 14/01/2014 | 02:30
Sixty-six drivers have been put off the roads more than once for clocking up 12 penalty points, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has said.
Figures released by the organisation reveal that 191 drivers were disqualified from driving last year after accumulating the maximum points.
A total of 1.3 million penalty points were handed down to drivers in Dublin last year, with 78 people disqualified.
The RSA said the number of drivers disqualified from our roads as a result of clocking up 12 points was the lowest in four years.
However, it was confirmed that 66 drivers had now been disqualified more than once as a result of their number of penalty points. The figures were released to Newstalk's 'Lunchtime' by the RSA.
Asked whether he believed penalty points provided a strong enough deterrent, Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said they were part of a range of measures aimed at deterring dangerous driving: "Penalty points on their own aren't enough of a deterrent," he said. "What they are is part of a whole suite of measures that are in place in order to ensure that people behave safely on the road.
"But on their own it's never going to be enough and, of course, there are other prosecutions as well and other ways of enforcing the law."
Mr Varadkar insisted that judges could use their discretion to disqualify drivers for longer periods if they deemed fit.
"In many ways, that's actually up to the courts. The courts can disqualify people from driving for longer if they think it's warranted," he said.
And he said that he may consider including harsher penalties for dangerous driving in future legislation.
"Really, the key thing that we're trying to do is not to put people off the roads, but to change behaviour. That's the key thing -- to get people to slow down. Make sure they wear the seatbelt, it's amazing the amount of people who don't wear seatbelts and to make sure people never drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs."
In total, 2,069 drivers have now been off the roads since the penalty points system was introduced in 2002.
The 2013 figures are the lowest in four years. In 2012, 244 drivers were disqualified from driving. In 2011, that figure was 233, and was 294 in 2010.
In 2009, 173 drivers were disqualified after receiving 12 penalty points.
Drivers are disqualified from driving for six months under the current system if they accumulate 12 points in any three-year period.
Where a person accumulates 12 penalty points, a notification is issued to them and the disqualification starts 28 days from the date of issue of the notification, according to the RSA.