Friday 20 April 2018

Boy (13) receives road fines in billing mistake

Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan

ALMOST 100 drivers have been wrongly registered as owners of cars each year, meaning they have been billed for road tolls and speeding fines they did not incur.

A loophole in the vehicle registration system even allowed a 13-year-old boy in Co Wicklow to receive fixed penalties for illegal parking, illegal dumping and failure to pay road tolls.

The Department of Transport has revealed the affected drivers were wrongly registered as the owners of cars they had never bought because there was no requirement for photo ID to be produced during the vehicle registration process.

The revelation raised concerns that the unsuspecting drivers may be at risk of getting fixed penalty fines for offences.

Independent Wicklow TD Joe Behan, who has raised the issue in the Dail, said the fines had been written off when the boy's parents contacted gardai.

"The gardai are aware of the particular case -- the kid was let off -- but it was their word. It has indicated to me there is a loophole in the law because there's no requirement for photo ID when registering a car," he said.

About 750,000 vehicle registrations are carried out each year. The department said there were "less than 100 cases" every year where the wrong ownership details were recorded on the National Vehicle and Driver File.

But Mr Behan said the actual numbers of false registrations could be far higher -- given that people only found out when a speeding fine or road toll was posted to them.

Irish Independent

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