Saturday 1 October 2016

'Unacceptable' number escaping penalty points

Published 02/10/2015 | 02:30

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe: 'We are now working on a new independent database that will integrate details of someone’s driving licence and their vehicle to deal with this matter once and for all'
Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe: 'We are now working on a new independent database that will integrate details of someone’s driving licence and their vehicle to deal with this matter once and for all'

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe says the number of people going to court and escaping penalty points convictions is "unacceptable".

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Mr Donohoe was responding to reports that four out of five drivers summonsed to court over penalty points offences are escaping conviction.

Mr Donohoe said: "What I what to emphasise in relation to this is that 79pc of fixed charge notices served do end up in the successful application of penalty points."

"That being said, I believe it continues to be unacceptable that the number of people who go to court for either a very serious road traffic offence or an accumulation of traffic offences and we do not see penalty points applied to their licence."

The new figures show that almost 150,000 drivers who were ordered to appear in court over the past two years were not convicted for reasons including not being served with a summons at the correct address, or claiming to have never received a fixed-charge notice in the post.

Mr Donohoe said he and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald were now working on plans to address people failing to bring driving licences to cour.

He said that in November, prosecutions would begin to deal with "this unacceptable behaviour".

"This is to deal with a behaviour which is in my view unacceptable. We are now working on a new independent database that will integrate details of someone's driving licence and their vehicle to deal with this matter once and for all."

He was speaking at the launch of Road Safety Week in Dublin City Centre, which highlighted the dangers of buying used tyres and also the failure of a large majority of people to regularly check their tyres.

A survey of 1,000 motorists by the RSA showed that eight out of 10 drivers know how to check their tyre pressure, but just one in 10 do so regularly.

Irish Independent

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