2,500 put off road for hitting penalty point limit

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar has confirmed that more than 2,500 drivers have been put off the road after accumulating 12 penalty points since the legislation was introduced.

In a written Dáil response to TD Tommy Broughan, Mr Varadkar said 2,086 drivers with full licences had been banned from driving after reaching 12 penalty points, with an additional 536 learner drivers also banned.

The penalty points legislation was brought into force in October 2002 and it took two years before the first drivers reached 12 penalty points, with a total of 18 put off the road in 2004.

The numbers banned quickly accelerated to 239 in 2007 and a high of 433 were banned in 2009.

Mr Varadkar confirmed that 299 drivers were banned last year, with 35 motorists banned so far this year 2014.

Conor Faughnan of the AA said yesterday that the penalty points system “has been brilliantly effective”.

He said: “Last year, there was an increase in road deaths which we are not happy about at all and would put down to a slackening off in Garda enforcement.”

Mr Faughnan said there is strong evidence the penalty points system works. He said 644,000 or around 30% of motorists have two penalty points and this reduces to 145,000 motorists who have four penalty points.

He said: “This tapers off to 17,000 motorists who have six points and 4,000 who have eight points.

“The yellow card concept is working. After receiving two penalty points, the evidence shows that drivers change their behaviour and after receiving four penalty points, drivers radically change their driving behaviour.”


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