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14th Jul 2022

Fines for speeding and mobile phone use while driving set to increase

Dave Hanratty

Road safety fines

“Drivers and road users are key to eliminating deaths on our roads.”

Fines for speeding, mobile phone use while driving and failure to wear a seatbelt wearing are set to increase as part of a new initiative that seeks to decrease the number of road deaths in Ireland.

As of Tuesday (12 July), 87 people have lost their lives on Irish roads so far in 2022, an increase of 27 at the same time of the year in 2021.

Announced by Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton at the Department of Transport with special responsibility for road safety, the new interventions are designed to place renewed responsibility on all road users.

“We must take action,” noted Minister Naughton.

“I am very concerned, as we all are, about the rising trend in road deaths. If we are to tackle the growing number of deaths on our roads, we must take meaningful and tangible action. We must target measures so as to ensure that speeding, phone use and non-wearing of seatbelts are no longer contributors to road deaths.

“Specifically, in my own Department of Transport, I will be looking at increasing fixed charges for these key factors. We know that 70% of motorists support an increase to the current penalty for the use of mobile phones while driving and two thirds of drivers would like an increase on the fines relating to driving without wearing a seat belt.”

Currently, the proposed increase of fines is at the review stage, though Minister Naughton has stated, categorically, that she “will be increasing fines for some of the primary contributors to road deaths”. It is presently unknown just how much the fines will increase by.

The Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 is aiming to halve the number of road deaths in the country. An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority have backed Minister Naughton’s plans, with further enforcement of the rules of the road set to come into focus.

“Increased penalties alone will not solve this problem – drivers and road users are key to eliminating deaths on our roads,” said Naughton.

“I would appeal to every road user to exercise responsibility, play your part and don’t become a statistic. Remember to wear your seat belt. Avoid distraction while driving, especially from phones. Above all, slow down and keep within the speed limit. Speeding not only makes collisions more likely, it makes them more devastating when they happen.”

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