Monday 22 June 2015
Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Justice & Equality, has welcomed plans by An Garda Síochána to commence prosecutions for the failure to present driving licenses in Court.
The Minister has expressed concerns at latest figures indicating that a large proportion of person coming before the Courts on road traffic offences were not presenting their licences in Court and in many cases thereby not receiving penalty points.
An Garda Síochána will shortly commence prosecutions, starting at multiple locations nationwide, targeting person not presenting their licences in Court which is an offence under road traffic legislation.
Minister Fitzgerald stated: "It is essential that our Road Traffic Laws are both respected and enforced.
“Enforcement and prosecution of offences in this area is critical to public safety and to reducing deaths on our roads.
“There must be no way-out for anybody seeking to avoid getting penalty points and I welcome the initiative by An Garda Síochána to commence prosecutions for failure to present driving licences in court."
Notes for Editors:
Figures provided by the Court Service indicate that in 2014 there were 21,709 persons convicted under the Road Traffic Act of a Penalty Point offence. However, only 8,059 persons had their Driver Licence Number recorded on the Criminal Case Tracking System (CCTS). The penalty points are notified to the National Vehicle and Driver File and assigned to the relevant driver record in all cases where driving licence details are supplied. Where a driving licence number is not recorded penalty points are assigned through a process of matching with other available identification information. It is not always possible to achieve a match and in these cases penalty points are not assigned to individual driving licence records.
It is an offence under section 22 of the Road Traffic Act 2002 (as amended) to fail to produce your licence and in such instances the general penalties provided for in section 102 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 (as amended) apply. These penalties provide for up to €1,000 for first offence rising to €2,000 on second and subsequent offences, and/or up to 3 months imprisonment for third and subsequent offences within a 12 month period. The penalty applied on conviction in any particular instance is a matter for the judge to determine.
In addition to the Garda initiatives, as part of the ongoing examination of this issue the Criminal Justice (Fixed Charge Processing System) Working Group is studying other possible measures to assist with the association of driving licence details with penalty points.