Monday 11 December 2017

Drivers to be told if they were wrongly convicted

Thousands of motorists who were wrongly convicted of road traffic offences will begin receiving letters from An Garda Síochána next week advising them that their convictions and penalty points will be quashed and fines refunded. (Stock photo)
Thousands of motorists who were wrongly convicted of road traffic offences will begin receiving letters from An Garda Síochána next week advising them that their convictions and penalty points will be quashed and fines refunded. (Stock photo)
Shane Phelan

Shane Phelan

Thousands of motorists who were wrongly convicted of road traffic offences will begin receiving letters from An Garda Síochána next week advising them that their convictions and penalty points will be quashed and fines refunded.

The motorists will be told they do not have to attend court or lodge an appeal against their convictions.

The Attorney General has advised Garda management that officers can appeal the cases to the Circuit Court without needing to get the affected motorists involved.

Some 14,700 people received convictions when they had either already paid a fine or weren't given the opportunity to pay a fine and avoid a court appearance.

Although some motorists are expected to sue the force for damages arising from the debacle, legal experts believe there will be few cases and that these would have a limited chance of success. Garda sources said they were unaware of anyone issuing proceedings since the blunder was made public on March 23.

It remains unclear how most insurance companies will react.

Insurance Ireland said its members were awaiting further clarification on the timeframe and process to address the issue of incorrect or mistaken sanctions.

Aviva said it could not comment until it had further information.

But Liberty Insurance said if a customer can demonstrate that points were incorrectly endorsed on their licence, it would ensure that the premium accurately reflects their risk profile and offer a refund where applicable.

Irish Independent

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