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Number of penalty points issued drops by 10pc as most caught for speeding, mobile offences

THE NUMBER of penalty points issued to motorists has dropped by almost 10pc.

The Central Statistics Office says that almost 260,000 points were issued last year, a drop of 9.8pc, with speeding and mobile phone offences accounting for almost 90pc of all points issued.

The Transport Omnibus 2011 survey also shows that almost half of new private cars licensed for the first time last had an engine capacity of between 1501 and 2000 cc.

Most are in the lower-category A or B motor tax bands which are set to be hiked in next Wednesday’s Budget.

One in ten drivers on the road has a learner permit, and just over half of all new drivers passed their test the first time.

On average, a private car travelled 16,771 kilometres in 2011 but motorists in Roscommon travelled further.

It also says almost half the country’s taxi fleet of 23,777 vehicles is based in Dublin.