Thursday 21 November 2019

Wexford drivers worst in Ireland for penalty points

1,315 motorists in the county got points for using mobile phone while driving last year

Simon Bourke

One in five Wexford drivers ended last year with points on their license, making motorists in the Model County the most penalised in the country.

Figures published by the Central Statistics Office show that, as of December 31, 2018 there were 99,862 full and provisional licenses registered to Wexford drivers and, of those motorists, 19,872 had one or more penalty points, a percentage of 19.9%. The national average is 16%.

Only Laois, with 48,476 licenses and 9,658 points had a comparable rate to Wexford.

The most common number of points among Wexford drivers was three, with 13,419 having amassed that number. Just 66 had received the full 12 penalty points by the end of last year, thus disqualifying them from driving for six months - ten of those drivers received all 12 points during the calendar year of 2018.

However, it wasn't all bad news as the total number of penalty points collected by Wexford drivers in 2018 was down on the previous year's figures.

In 2017 motorists from the county received 26,450 for driving offences, but in 2018 that number dropped to 24,961.

Those points were spread between 6,997 drivers, with more than twice as many male drivers (4,574) penalised as their female counterparts (2,253). A further 170 penalised motorists were listed as having no gender recorded.

Speeding was the most common offence for drivers in the county last year, with 4,079 of drivers penalised for exceeding speed limits. Meanwhile, 1,315 Wexford motorists received points for using their mobile phone while driving and 145 learner drivers received points for driving without an unaccompanied license holder.

Of the 99,862 licenses registered in the county, 79,717 were ten-year licenses, 8,481 were learner permits, with the rest either annual or triennial licenses. In this instance, there was a negligible difference in terms of gender with slightly more males holding full licenses than females.

The most common age-group to hold full licenses were those aged between 40-49, the aged 17-20 category accounted for 1,659 of full licenses while, at the other end of the spectrum, there were 2,690 drivers aged 80 or over in possession of their full licenses. There were also 15 drivers over the age of 80 in the county who held a learner permit.

In 2018 the waiting time for a learner to take their test in Wexford decreased by almost half, going from the previous year's 19 weeks down to ten. In Gorey the waiting time dropped from 18 weeks to 13.

Other transport-related data included in the CSO figures show that there were three people killed on Wexford roads in 2018, the lowest number since 2014. In addition, in 2017, there were 231 people injured on our roads.

Gorey Guardian