Graduated speeding fines - Welcome but underwhelming

Graduated speeding fines - Welcome but underwhelming

It is entirely rational that there should be graduated fines for varied rates of speeding.

After all, someone driving at 5km over an 80km limit hardly represents the kind of threat someone reckless enough to drive by a school or through a residential area at, say, 30km over a 50km limit. Yet, up to now, each faced the same kind of sanction.

Yesterday, Minister for Transport Shane Ross won Cabinet approval for graduated speeding penalties.

That endorsement came a year after stricter proposals were rejected on foot of objections by some Fine Gael ministers and concerns expressed by Attorney General Seamus Woulfe.

A system of tiered fines and penalty points is welcome but it is hard, and not entirely too cynical, to describe such a proposal as pre-election low hanging fruit. It looks good, it sounds good but will it make any real difference? Maybe.

Mr Ross and his colleagues might make a greater contribution to road safety if they confronted the estimated 120,000 motorists who avoid a driving test by using a litany of provisional permits.

They might also consider the thousands of disqualified motorists still driving because a requirement to surrender licences in court is not enforced.

These two factors may be significant in rising road deaths. So far this year, 131 lives have been lost on our roads, seven more than last year’s total.

Will extra resources to implement this measure be made available?

A little done, but a lot more to do.

More on this topic

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Garda chief approves of planned speed laws saying 'penalty should reflect the risk'Garda chief approves of planned speed laws saying 'penalty should reflect the risk'

Minister denies Cabinet revolt over his speeding proposalsMinister denies Cabinet revolt over his speeding proposals

Dramatic decline in numbers done for speedingDramatic decline in numbers done for speeding

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