TRANSPORT MINISTER Leo Varadkar has said more IT work is still needed before transport authorities can begin issuing penalty points to holders of non-Irish driving licences.
Penalty points were introduced in Ireland in 2002 – but drivers using foreign licences cannot be penalised for motoring offences because there is no mechanism under which they can be prosecuted.
Although a later law introduced in 2010 corrected this – essentially creating a ‘dummy’ electronic record for other motorists, which can then accrue penalty points for speeding – the IT is not yet in place to carry it out.
As a result, the specific parts of the Road Traffic Act 2010 – signed into law over 18 months ago – have not yet been commenced.
“Work is ongoing with both the Court Services and the Gardaí, including any necessary changes to IT systems, in order to commence the relevant sections of the 2010 Act,” Varadkar said.
While the relevant part of the new law remains inactive, any penalty points accrued by overseas motorists remain “indefinitely in this limbo”, the minister admitted.
Varadkar made the disclosure in response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil’s Willie O’Dea.