€1.1m paid in fines by learner and novice drivers since 2018

There was a 30% increase in the amount of fines paid for learner or novice driver offences last year.
€1.1m paid in fines by learner and novice drivers since 2018
Learner driver L-plate
Learner driver L-plate

There was a 30% increase in the amount of fines paid for learner or novice driver offences last year.

According to Freedom of Information files, €1.1 million worth of penalties were settled in 2018 and 2019.

Learner drivers must be accompanied by a fully qualified driver at all times and stick to other rules.

If they break them, they face penalty points and fines of up €120.

Newly qualified drivers have to put N plates on their car for two years or get points and fines of up to €90.

In 2018, over 5,600 drivers paid Garda fines for learner or novice driver offences amounting to €464,500.

This rose by nearly a third last year with over 7,300 people settling fines worth nearly €607,000.

A third of the fines were in the Dublin and it is followed by Cork, Kildare, Limerick and Wexford.

Tipperary road safety campaigner Alec Lee wants the gardaí to take tougher action.

"My daughter was killed by a 17-year-old learner driver. She was killed in 2000 but it's like yesterday," said Mr Lee.

"The only way the pain goes is when you die yourself.

"I would rather the gardaí take the illegal and dangerous drivers off the road rather than call to some parent to say your child isn't coming home anymore."

Stricter laws were brought in in December 2018, which gave gardaí the power to seize cars driven by unaccompanied drivers.

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