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Donohoe: I'll close penalty points defect by Christmas

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Transport minister Paschal Donohoe appealed to trade unions to pull back from strike action

Transport minister Paschal Donohoe appealed to trade unions to pull back from strike action

Transport minister Paschal Donohoe appealed to trade unions to pull back from strike action

THE Government is to rush emergency penalty points legislation through the Dail next week in a desperate bid to prevent a flurry of legal challenges by motorists.

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said the move is necessary in order to close off a legal loophole that could pose a threat to road safety.

The decision to publish emergency legislation came in response to formal legal advice provided to the minister by Attorney General Maire Whelan.

LOOPHOLE

However, concern still remains among government circles that road traffic cases due to come before the courts could be impacted as a result of the legal defect.

Industry sources have also warned that thousands of penalty points issued for a series of offences, including speeding and driving while using a mobile phone, may be invalidated.

The discovery of the loophole sparked crisis talks between department officials and road safety experts.

Mr Donohoe last night confirmed that emergency legislation will now be rushed through the Dail and Seanad ahead of the Christmas recess.

The Fine Gael politician is due to brief Opposition spokespersons on the amended penalty points legislation this morning.

"A technical issue which gave rise to potential difficulty with penalty points issued for motoring offences was identified within my Department. The advice of the Attorney General's Office was sought in respect of the need for amending legislation to deal with the issue. That advice was received last night and is now being considered," the minister said in a statement.

"Amending legislation is being drafted to ensure that there will be no interruption to the enforcement of road traffic offences under the penalty points system," he added.

The news comes just days after judge Sean McBride dismissed 17 cases of traffic violations in counties Monaghan and Cavan.

noconnor@herald.ie


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