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Tuesday 19 November 2019

Driver owes €55,000 after failing to pay 919 parking fines

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Stock picture

Ken Foxe

Ireland's worst serial parking offender has run up fines of more than €55,000 after failing to pay 919 separate penalties.

The repeat offender is one of six people in a single local authority area who have accrued fines in excess of €10,000, according to council records.

Details on parking fines for Ireland's four largest cities have shown problems across the board, with drivers flouting the law over and over again.

The problem is most pronounced in Dún Laoghaire- Rathdown in Dublin, where 10 repeat offenders have collectively amassed more than €176,000 in unpaid fines.

In one of those cases, an individual parked more than 100 times in a disabled parking bay and was fined €120 on each occasion, running up a total bill of €14,320.

The person who ran up the €55,000 bill did at least steer clear of the disabled bays when they were illegally parking.

All 919 of their fines were levied at the standard rate of €60, half of the €120 that applies for offences involving disabled bays.

Overall, 81pc of fines were collected last year in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, with €1.15m taken in and another €182,520 left unpaid.

The council said it had a policy of pursuing non-payment through the courts and that on two occasions vehicles were removed and disposed of.

It also said two motorists had been disqualified from driving for repeat offences and multiple convictions had been secured.

In Cork, almost 80pc of fines levied last year were paid by drivers, an improvement on 2016 (77.3pc). Altogether, Cork City Council collected €1.316m in fines last year, with €521,000 unpaid, it also had problems with repeat offenders with one motorist having 46 tickets outstanding during 2016, owing €3,306.

In Limerick, collection rates were better, with 84pc of fines worth just over €505,000 paid last year. Repeat offenders were also a problem there, with the worst case involving a person who over a three-year period had 46 unpaid fines with a value of €2,820.

Galway had a collection rate of 78.7pc last year with €379,800 in fines paid and another €122,680 unpaid. Some of the unpaid fines involved people who were wrongly caught out and their fines were "waived following investigation". The city council said there was an issue with foreign-registered cars parking illegally and these were very difficult to pursue.

Irish Independent

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