Monday 14 October 2019

Eleven M50 toll dodgers fined total of €126,000

Stock image of the M50
Stock image of the M50

Tom Tuite

Eleven motorists who dodged payment of hundreds of tolls on the M50 have been hit with fines totalling more than €126,000.

The penalties, ranging from €2,500 to €15,000, were handed down by Judge Anthony Halpin at Dublin District Court yesterday.

In all the prosecutions which resulted in the fines being imposed yesterday, none of the defendants appeared in court.

Each case featured five sample counts of toll-dodging and photographic evidence of how many times the defendants' vehicles had been detected using the motorway without paying the charge.

The court heard the evidence showed the passage of the vehicles, mostly private cars, on the barrier-free motorway on dates in May, August and September 2018, as well as proof of vehicle ownership at the time.

The M50 is operated by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and the registered owner of a vehicle is responsible for paying a toll even if they were not driving.

Judge Halpin expressed concern at the financial and environmental cost of thousands of letters being sent to these motorists by representatives of TII as a result of the non-payment of the tolls.

On top of the fines, which totalled €126,500, each owner was ordered to pay costs.

Claire Burke, of Balbutcher Lane, Ballymun, Dublin, was fined €9,000. Judge Halpin heard she was the registered owner of a car which had a history of 230 journeys and no payments. Some 500 letters were sent to her, said TII witness Sarah Kavanagh.

Marina Stan, of Aulden Grange, Santry, Dublin, had not paid for 215 journeys by her car on the M50, the court heard. For her five sample charges arising from journeys in September, Judge Halpin fined her €12,500.

Danielle Riccardo Muntean, of Castlesize Drive, Sallins, Co Kildare, was the owner of a car that made 284 trips on the M50 and had paid five times and was fined €12,500. Some 1,800 letters were sent out about those unpaid tolls.

David Tyrell, of Fairlawn Road, Finglas, was also fined €12,500.

The court heard his vehicle had a history of 728 passages with no payment.

Some 2,000 letters had also been sent to him with no replies.

Commercial vehicle owner Philip Johnson, of St Marks, Robin Hood Road, Clondalkin, Dublin, had been the owner of a truck which had done 592 trips on the motorway, the court heard.

No payments were received for those journeys and he was fined €15,000.

Victor Ekanem, of Tailteann Drive, Windtown, Navan, Co Meath, was the owner of a car which had a history of 489 passages with no payments. He was fined €15,000.

Irish Independent

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