FF plan to axe points on driver licences
Motorists who avail of road safety classes will be entitled to have up to three penalty points wiped from their licences under a plan set to be unveiled by Fianna Fáil.
The party's general election manifesto will aim to incentivise drivers to take a one day refresher course in return for having penalty points deducted, the Irish Independent can reveal.
The scheme, which the party says has proven successful in other countries, will be aimed at those who have clocked up six points or more.
According to the party's transport spokesman, Clare TD Timmy Dooley, motorists will be expected to pay for the course themselves.
The party envisages that classes will be tailored for no more than six motorists and be run over the course of a day.
The manifesto will state that the scheme is not available for people on zero points or 12 points, which is the maximum before people lose their licenses.
Motorists will be able to avail of the refresher courses - and therefore have their points wiped - once every three years.
A pilot scheme is likely to be launched initially, before the programme's full roll-out.
"This is about giving people an incentive to revise the rules of the road. Given some of the tragedies we have seen as a result of speeding, such a scheme could radically improve road safety and in particular, driver, behaviour which is something we should always be looking to improve," Mr Dooley told the Irish Independent last night.
"The problem has been that a lot of drivers on the road secured their licenses several years ago and therefore can only benefit from this sort of scheme in terms of their driving ability," he added.
Incentives for drivers who take refresher courses is the second transport measure unveiled by the party ahead of its manifesto launch.
Last month, the party pledged to give electric car owners free electricity, and to waive and toll charges.
The move is aimed at significantly increasing the level of electric car purchases in the State.
The Government already offers financial incentives in the form of grants to motorists looking to purchase electric vehicles. The grants are in place until the end of 2016.
However, Fianna Fáil's plan will pledge to offer free electricity to drivers as part of a partnership approach with the ESB.