Transport Minister reviews Ireland's penalty point system
The Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has published a review of the existing penalty point system, which hopes to make the current system a bit clearer... and it does.
Have you ever been caught going a few kilometres an hour over the limit and wonder why the bloke that blew past you at 160kph gets the same punishment? Well, that won’t happen again if Leo Varadkar has his way.
It’s just one of many measures that the Transport Minister has proposed in a review of the current system which has been published today, and from what we’ve read, it looks like the system will make a bit more sense now.
The review was carried out by the Department of Transport and compares Ireland’s penalty point system with ten other jurisdictions around the UK and Europe.
The plan also looks into the introduction of mutual recognition of penalty points between Ireland and Northern Ireland – so no more tearing up to Newry for the cheap bargains.
At the moment, there are 43 penalty point offences currently in operation. The report’s proposal included that penalty points be increased for 11 offences including those linked to the most dangerous driver behaviour such as speeding (up from 2 to a possible 3 points).
Other offences on the cards for an increase include front seatbelt offences, and using a mobile phone, but we think you’ll agree that increasing the fines for these offences wouldn’t be a bad idea.
In a rare move for an Irish politician, Leo has outlined three offences where the points should be reduced. That’s reduced, in case you didn’t think you read it right.
The review aims to remove the automatic imposition of five penalty points and a compulsory court appearance for driving a vehicle without an NCT cert, and instead replace it with just three penalty points. The same goes for the offence of ‘parking in a dangerous position’.
Speaking about the published review, Leo said, “We often hear calls to increase penalty points for one offence or another and to introduce new offences. I want to ensure that there is coherence in the penalties, which apply to offences. I also want to avoid ad-hoc adjustments, which could result in disproportionate penalties being applied to individual offences. The number of penalty points incurred should be proportionate to the gravity of the offence in terms of road safety.”
Now, this was only a review so nothing will be set in stone until lads from a Joint Oireachtas Transport Committee, which comprises TDs and Senators from across the political spectrum, have their say.