Questions to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Mr. Paschal Donohoe, TD)
To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will consider revising the system of speeding fines and consider introducing graduated fines for infringements of the limits at the lower levels and larger fines and penalty points being reserved for those doing reckless and dangerous speed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. -Jerry Buttimer
To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will consider facilitating a system of payment of unpaid fines whereby the outstanding money is added to the amount due on motor tax for a vehicle; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer
For WRITTEN ANSWERS on Wednesday, 4 March 2015.
As the Deputy will appreciate, one of the main causes of road crashes on Irish roads is excessive and inappropriate speed. My Department, in conjunction with the Road Safety Authority, An Garda Síochána and other stakeholders, is continuing to examine this area to identify measures that can be taken to bring about future reductions in fatalities and serious injuries. The main goal of the penalty point system is to make drivers more aware of unsafe driving behaviour and by doing so, improve that behaviour. As I explained to the Deputy, in response to a similar Question put to me in February last, I have no plans in the near future to change the current system in relation to speeding offences. In fact, the last revision increased the number of penalty points for speeding offences. However, I will keep the Deputy’s suggestion in mind when the penalty point offences are next reviewed.
A Criminal Justice (Fixed Charge Processing System) Working Group, jointly chaired by my Department and the Department of Justice and Equality, comprising representatives of all relevant State bodies, was established in March 2014 to oversee and facilitate the implementation of the recommendations of a report by the Garda Inspectorate into the Fixed Charge Processing System. As part of its deliberations, the Working Group is examining the solutions for addressing the collection of all outstanding road traffic related fines and charges, including the possibility of associating such amounts with the motor tax on a vehicle.
As I explained to the Deputy, in response to a similar Question put to me on 10 February 2015, I intend to await the outcome of the discussions at the Working Group before deciding what approach might be taken in this matter.