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.”
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