Ireland’s worst serial parking offender has run up fines of more than €55,000 after failing to pay 919 tickets.
The repeat offender is one of six people in a single local authority area who have accrued fines over €10,000, according to council records.
Details on parking fines for our four largest cities have shown problems across the board with drivers flouting the law over and over again.
The problem is most pronounced in Dun Laoghaire- Rathdown in Dublin, where 10 repeat offenders have collectively amassed more than €176,000 in unpaid tickets.
In one of those cases, an individual parked more than 100 times in a disabled parking bay and was fined €120 on each occasion, altogether running up a bill of €14,320.
The person who ran up the €55,000 bill did at least steer clear of the disabled bays when they were illegally parking.
All 919 of this driver’s fines were levied at the standard rate of €60, half of the €120 that applies for offences involving disabled bays.
Overall, 81% of fines were collected last year in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown with €1.15m taken in and another €182,520 left unpaid.
The council said it had a policy of pursuing non- payment through the courts and that on two occasions vehicles were removed and disposed of. They also said two motorists had been disqualified from driving for repeat offences and multiple convictions had been secured.
In Cork, almost 80% of fines levied last year were paid by drivers, an improvement on the rates from 2015 (76.7%) and 2016 (77.3%).
Altogether, Cork City Council collected €1.316m in fines last year but another €521,000 was left unpaid, according to records.
They also had problems with repeat offenders with one motorist in 2017 having 46 tickets outstanding during the year and €3,306 left owing.
In Limerick, collection rates were better with 84% of fines paid up last year which yielded just over €505,000 in revenue for the authority.
Repeat offenders were also a problem there with the worst case involving a person who over a three-year period had 46 fines unpaid with a value of €2,820.
Galway had a collection rate of 78.7% last year with €379,800 in fines paid and another €122,680 unpaid.
They said some of the unpaid money involved people who were wrongly caught out where their fines were “waived following investigation”.
Galway City Council also said there was an issue with foreign-registered cars parking illegally and that these were very difficult to pursue.
Repeat offenders were also a problem, as in all the other cities, with a single driver having 60 fines unpaid in 2015 although the worst last year had only 20 outstanding. Of the seven urban local authorities that provided information under freedom of information, Fingal had the lowest rate of payment recorded.
Over the past three years, an average of 62% of fines have been collected bringing in over €930,000 in revenue but with another nearly €360,000 unpaid.
Their worst offender had 37 parking tickets outstanding and owed €2,140. Collection rates were also low in South Dublin County Council where last year just 64% of parking fines issued were paid by the driver involved.
Dublin City Council had no such problems as it does not issue parking fines with enforcement ensured by clamping, or what it describes as “immobilisation and payment of a declamp fee”.
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