Fixed-charge fines system still seeing 'substantial number' of returned notices

Fixed-charge fines system still seeing 'substantial number' of returned notices

A body set up to look at the garda fixed charge processing system is reporting "substantial compliance" by gardaí with the revised penalty points policy.

The Fixed Charge Processing Office (FCPO) processes all notices issued following the capture of information by manual notepads, electronic notepads and speed cameras. There are 380 traffic offences which are the subject of fixed charge notices.

Retired circuit court president Judge Matthew Deery was appointed last January to carry out independent oversight of the system.

He examined random samples of cancellations of penalty points and concluded there was substantial compliance with the revised policy and said he had agreed with those "very few" instances he found where notices were cancelled, which can happen on a discretionary basis.

One issue raised in his report is continued difficulties surrounding the return of a "substantial number" of fixed charge notices as undelivered by An Post. The Garda Professional Standards Unit has issued recommendations in this regard.

Changes to the system were brought in in June 2014, following concerns raised about the cancellation of penalty points.

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