Raise fines for holders of foreign licences, advises TD
NEW figures show that more than 300,000 drivers have escaped having penalty points recorded on their licences because they are the holders of non-Irish licences.
Calls have been made for these motorists to face higher fines because points still cannot be added to their licences.
Statistics from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) show that at the end of December last, 766,027 drivers had been fined for penalty-point offences, accounting for a third of drivers on the road.
However, the figures show that 302,894 drivers, or more than two out of five motorists, had no penalty points recorded on their licence as they are holders of non-Irish driving licences.
There are currently 42 separate motoring offences for which penalty points can be incurred. Fianna Fail transport spokesman Timmy Dooley TD yesterday argued that holders of foreign licences for penalty- point offences should receive increased fines due to them escaping with no penalty points.
"These drivers should face heftier financial penalties and I will be tabling an amendment to the current legislation to that effect," he added.
At the end of last year, 147 drivers had the maximum of 12 penalty points -- 49 in Dublin, 20 in Cork, 14 in Wexford and 10 in Galway. Motorists with 12 points are automatically disqualified from driving for six months.
A spokesman for the RSA said it was not possible for gardai to apply points to non-Irish driving licences. "There is currently no mutual recognition of penalty-points systems across the EU. This means that an Irish licence holder driving in another country cannot be assigned penalty points on their licence and vice versa," she said.
She added, in such cases, the points are held on temporary record on the National Driver File database, and can be later applied to an Irish licence should the foreign driver take out an Irish licence or learner permit.