Increased Penalty Points

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, announced a number of increases in penalty point offences to take effect from 1st August 2014. These changes are being made under the Road Traffic Act 2014.

Increased penalty points

Penalty points for speeding, holding a mobile phone while driving and not wearing a seat belt or not using child restraints will increase from two points to three, provided the fixed charge is paid within the stipulated period. For those who do not pay the fixed charge and are subsequently convicted in Court, the points will increase from four to five.

As these offences are major contributory factors to road traffic collisions, increases in these areas are being introduced first. Further increases in penalty points for other road traffic offences will be introduced before the end of the year.

The Minister also reminded people that, under the terms of the 2014 Act, the new category of Novice driver will come into effect from 1st August. The new measures mean that people who receive a first full licence from 1st August will be considered as Novice drivers for their first two years. Novices will be required to display an N-plate during that time. Under the terms of the Act, Novices will face disqualification from driving for six months if they reach seven penalty points, as opposed to the current twelve.

Novice drivers, like learners, will be subject to lower alcohol limits. They may not act as accompanying drivers for learners during the period they are Novices. These are important road safety measures that form part of the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system, aimed at improving how we train, test and licence learner and novice drivers, who are among our most vulnerable road users.

Alex Todd Brand Manager at Its4women commented "While more severe penalties are welcome, nothing will change if they are not properly implemented."

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