Wednesday 13 December 2017

Penalty points to be overhauled after damning report

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter

Fionnan Sheahan and Philip Ryan

AN overhaul of the penalty points system is planned by the Government in the wake of a damning new report on the wiping of points for thousands of motorists.

The changes to the law will tighten up the rules relating to the cancellation of penalty points.

The legislation will also close a loophole around the application of fines and points to the drivers of company cars and rental cars.

Changes to the way penalty points are cancelled for gardai on duty will also be introduced.

The penalty points report by the Garda Inspectorate is highly critical of the way the penalty points system operated.

The watchdog is understood to be damning on the lack of accountability and the inadequate record-keeping in the system.

The report makes a range of recommendations on changes to the operation of penalty points including the removal of the right of local gardai to wipe points.

Instead, the report says the power to cancel penalty points should be centralised.

The right to withdraw fixed charge penalty notices should be transferred solely to the Fixed Charge Processing Office in Co Tipperary, the report says.

The report is believed to point to major administrative dysfunction.

Justice Minister Alan Shatter will bring the report to the Cabinet today and is expected to advise that the recommendations be accepted in full.

Irish Independent

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