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Saturday 21 September 2019

Male drivers more likely to get penalty points - and be caught on phone at wheel

More cars fail than pass. Stock image
More cars fail than pass. Stock image

Allison Bray

Men are more likely to get penalty points than women and to be caught chatting on their mobile phone while driving.

However when women get points, they are more likely to get them for speeding.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show a total of 198,844 penalty points were issued in 2016 - down by a fifth from a year earlier. Of these, the vast majority (72pc) were issued for speeding.

Men got more penalty points than women at 62.8pc compared to 37.2pc.

The CSO also gives a breakdown between the genders and the reasons for incurring points. Women were more likely than men to get points for speeding - 79pc versus 69pc - however men were more likely than women to get points for holding a mobile phone while driving (13.2pc versus 10.1pc).

The CSO's 'Transport Omnibus 2016' also revealed that road traffic volumes increased last year with 2.6 million vehicles on the road, up from 2.5 million. On average, private cars travelled 18,000km in 2016.

Meanwhile, more cars failed the National Car Test than passed it last year.

Close to 53pc, or almost 1.5 million cars, that underwent the NCT in 2016 failed during the initial inspection.

However, the vast majority - 94.2pc of cars - passed the test following subsequent inspections.

While some drivers may be forced to bring their car in for a re-test for minor things like replacing a rear light, the high failure rate is not down to inspectors being overly zealous, according to AA director of consumer affairs Conor Faughnan.

The main reason so many people are failing the initial test is they are no longer taking their car in for regular maintenance or pre-NCT inspections, he told the Irish Independent.

"What this tells us is people are using the test as a diagnostic, the same way as people who only go to the dentist when they have a toothache, instead of having annual check-ups," he said.

The relatively inexpensive fee of €55 for an initial test and €28 for a re-test means many drivers are using the NCT to gauge maintenance requirements rather than paying a mechanic more for a thorough inspection, he added.

However he said the NCT isn't a "deep study" of a car.

Irish Independent

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