Courts Service say fine pay option explains drop in speed convictions

Courts Service say fine pay option explains drop in speed convictions

The Courts Service has said a new initiative giving motorists a further chance to pay a fine for a road traffic offence, rather than go to court, explains a dramatic reduction in speeding convictions.

Figures provided by Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan, in response to a parliamentary question, revealed an almost 40% reduction in speeding convictions between 2016 and 2018.

The figures were detailed in Saturday's Irish Examiner.

No information was provided in the reply, or from subsequent queries to the Department of Justice or the Gardaí, as to why the speeding convictions fell.

A Courts Service spokesman said the coverage did not take account of a “successful new initiative”, introduced in October 2017, providing people detected as having committed a road traffic offence a third chance to pay a fixed charge (fine), rather than go to court.

He said: “The 3rd payment option is served with the summons to attend Court and recipients avoid the need to attend court if they sign a declaration, accept their penalty points and pay a fixed charge.”

"Courts Service data shows that 17,821 have availed of the facility, up to 4 April 2019. Speeding offences are a subset of this figure. This success is the main reason for the reduction in speeding convictions.”

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