Penalty Points Issue

Loopholes in law led to question mark over 200,000 points issued since August.

So what’s the problem?

Two mistakes in the Road Traffic Act 2014 have risen which has raised concerns over the 200,000 penalty points issued to 78,000 drivers since August.

Penalty Points Issue

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Ok, so what’s the two mistakes?

Firstly, the Road Traffic Act 2014, which was presented in the summer, ought to have made reference to the 2002 Act, which was the previous method of endorsing penalty points, yet it didn't. The Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe depicted this as an “legislative error”.

The second is that a few of new penalty point offences were issued to vehicles without a valid NCT certificate. This was not technically in force because earlier legislation excluding them from a list of penalty point offences was not changed. Mr Donohoe said this was an “oversight”.

What's the big deal?

Despite being a humiliating experience for the Minister there are two groups who may at present try to take a challenge. The first is the 49 individuals who have lost their licenses since August in the wake of collecting enough points to take them over the limit.

And secondly, there are drivers who received however did not acknowledge the points issued since the summer. In the event that they object to the points these drivers will wind up in court where they may try to challenge the application of points under the flawed legislation.

What about Mr Donohue?

Fianna Fail's Timmy Dooley said he would help the Minister's endeavors to correct the situation however announced himself extremely worried about the potential for legal challenge. Independent TD Mick Wallace and Sinn Féin's Dessie Ellis additionally expressed concerns. Mr Ellis asked if the Cabinet had discussed the issue and, responding, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin confirmed that it had been.

Mr Donohue has said he takes full responsibility for what had happened.

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