Fianna Fáil blames 'absurd' fall in penalty point notices on reductions in Garda Road Policing Unit

Fianna Fáil blames 'absurd' fall in penalty point notices on reductions in Garda Road Policing Unit

There has been a drop in the number of penalty points issued to drivers in the past 10 years, according to Fianna Fáil.

The party said in June 2009 there were more than 790,000 notices issued compared to just over 630,000 this month.

Fianna Fáil believes this is down to a decline in the Garda's Road Policing Unit.

The party said there has been a fall of 49 officers in this area since last year.

Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Transport, Marc Mac Sharry, said that the legacy of declining Garda numbers is still impacting road safety today.

He said: “In June 2009, 790,623 penalty point notices were issued to drivers. In the same month this year, just 633,302 notices were issued, a fall of nearly 20%.

"This is absolutely absurd, especially when you consider that 14 new penalty point offences were created in 2014."

“Surely with more offences now punishable with penalty points, there should be more penalty point notices issued. This decrease in penalty point notices clearly arises from the drop in the Garda’s Road Policing Unit, which has fallen by a third between 2009 and 2019. Latest figures show that there has been a fall of 49 Gardai in the Road Policing Unit between 2018 and 2019.

“This follows on from revelations that nearly two-thirds of drivers caught speeding may not have received their penalty points because of a lack of co-operation between the Department of Transport and the Department of Justice.

“What is clear to me is that Minister Flanagan and Minister Ross are operating on two islands completely separate from each other, and they are not working to meet the challenges of road safety head-on. Minister Ross is spending his time trying to make it a punishable offence to be caught without your driver’s licence in the car. This is completely nonsensical and distracts from the real issue of a lack of enforcement.”

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