Plan to clamp down on penalty point evaders

The Government will establish a register of driving licences in a bid to clamp down on the evasion of penalty points, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has signalled.

Mr Donohoe says he is working with Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald in a bid to close a loophole in the punishment system for dangerous road users.

The scheme would link a driver’s licence to their vehicle registration numbers so that it would be harder to avoid having points added.

Mr Donohoe said it was “absolutely unacceptable” that some drivers were deliberately not bringing licences to court in a bid to avoid having points enforced.

“I’m now working with the Minister for Justice to look at other measures that will allow us to deal with behaviour that I believe is unacceptable in our courts and unacceptable in a country that is looking to make our roads safer,” he said.

It is believed that some 20,000 drivers have managed to avoid having points automatically registered by failing to bring licences to court appearances.

Mr Donohoe insisted it is time to clamp down on the loophole. “I believe it is absolutely unacceptable that anybody who goes to court due to committing a series of road traffic offences or a road traffic offence that is so serious that of itself could merit losing their licence — when that person gets to court, measures are taken that evade the sanction the courts and our justice system places on them.

“That is why, earlier on this year, I brought into law the ability for the gardaí to immediately arrest anybody who is driving while disqualified and I am now working with the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald to look at other measures that will allow us deal with behaviour that is unacceptable in our courts and unacceptable in a country looking to make our roads safer.”

More on this topic

Danny Healy-Rae claims 'tough' speeding penalties are 'yet another' attack on rural IrelandDanny Healy-Rae claims 'tough' speeding penalties are 'yet another' attack on rural Ireland

Motorists in Laois and Wexford have higher proportion of penalty points than other motoristsMotorists in Laois and Wexford have higher proportion of penalty points than other motorists

Speeding accounts for most penalty points issued in 2018Speeding accounts for most penalty points issued in 2018

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


Lifestyle

One iron-clad prediction for the future is that virtual reality will only get bigger and better. For now, however, virtual reality is content with taking baby steps forward, by allowing gamers to become iron-clad instead.GameTech review: Solid offering from Iron Man VR shows virtual reality getting bigger

Often dismissed as the unruly fashion child thanks to the denim cut-off, shorts are a major player this season. As seen on the runways of The Row to Saint Laurent, designers are re-discovering the charm of shorts. Versatility is their style power. From knee-length to the biker there is one to suit all, writes Paula BurnsHow to find the perfect pair of shorts this summer

The skincare tips to help with mask acne and irritationThe Skin Nerd: How to counteract the effects of 'Mask Face' on your skin

As the junior TV talent show returns for a new series, Georgia Humphreys chats to Will.i.am and the other mentorsWill.i.am and other mentors back for new series of The Voice Kids

More From The Irish Examiner