independent

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Additional penalty points for speeding

Olivia Ryan

Published 09/08/2014 | 12:00

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TOUGH new penalty points for speeding and using a mobile phone while driving came into effect this week - but cross border drivers are still escaping the law.

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All drivers - within their own jurisdiction - now face the threat of additional penalty points if they are caught breaking speed limits.

Instead of two points applied to their licence, they will now be awarded three.

Other changes will impact new drivers who will have to display a special 'N' plate - indicating they are novices - for two years after they get a licence.

The changes, under the Road Traffic Act 2014, took effect from last Friday, August 1st.

But despite the increases, plans to introduce 'mutual recognition' of driving licences are still on hold.

Discussions have been ongoing between governments north and south of the border to find a way for drivers, who breach road traffic laws, to be penalised, no matter where they are in Ireland.

However 'legal complexities' in establishing the cross border system have seen negotiations stalled.

Meanwhile, penalty points for holding a mobile phone while driving and not wearing a seat belt or not using child restraints will increase from two points to three, provided the fixed charge is paid within the stipulated period.

For those who do not pay the fixed charge and are subsequently convicted in court, the points will increase from four to five.

Further increases in penalty points for other road traffic offences are also expected to be introduced before the end of the year.

Novice drivers, like learners, will be subject to lower alcohol limits and they may not act as accompanying drivers for learners while they are novice drivers.

For further details on the new changes to the penalty points system visit www.penaltypoints.ie.

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