Wednesday 20 November 2019

Higher speeding fines would act as deterrent

Transport Minister Shane Ross Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Transport Minister Shane Ross Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins


It's certainly an interesting proposition. Making the perpetrator pay a real price, the latest road safety plan is to link speeding fines to the salaries of the motorists.

The radical new plan would see higher earners pay more when caught driving over the limit.

As a result, a driver earning €50,000 a year could pay €1,000 if caught speeding.

The earnings-based plan is being strongly considered by the Road Safety Authority and details of it will be sent to Transport Minister Shane Ross.

Speed is known to contribute to a high proportion of deaths and injuries on our roads.

Therefore, experts are looking at tougher deterrents and penalties for those who break the limits.

The system operating in Finland sees fines linked to an offender's income.

One of the most famous cases from there saw a millionaire businessman fined €54,000 for speeding.

And in Britain, authorities this week substantially increased the percentage of salary you pay if caught speeding.

The higher earnings-based penalties are also combined with varying lengths of disqualification for the worst offenders.

The view from the Road Safety Authority is obviously that the penalty is not matching the crime at the moment.

The fines in existence at the moment are not a sufficient deterrent for motorists who are still being caught in such large numbers on a daily basis.

The link between speed and accidents can't be ignored, so any measure that makes a speeding motorist slow down is worth considering, at least.

Power shower effect will continue without charges

Well done to the anti-water charges protesters for campaigning against those who waste water being penalised for their actions...

There's nothing like a vulnerable group in society being protected.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) suggest large houses boasting en suites and equipped with power showers are driving up water consumption.

And homeowners living in some of the capital's most expensive suburbs consume far more water than the majority of households across the State.

An analysis of consumption based on metered usage shows that homes in Dublin 4, Dublin 6 and Dublin 13 consume far more water than anywhere else.

Many of these properties tend to be family homes, bigger than the average and with large gardens, which may be boosting consumption.

Across the country, each household consumes an average of 383 litres of water a day. Yet homeowners in Tipperary and Kerry use the highest amount on a county-by-county basis, at 430 litres.

The figures also show that a third of water is consumed by just over 3pc of households. The statistics indicate a dramatic level of leakage across the country.

Yet the debate in Leinster House is about scrapping water charges, which penalises wastage, and ceasing the rollout of water meters, which identify leaks.

Irish Independent

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