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634 learner drivers convicted last year for not displaying L plates

The Transport Minister says that there no plans to introduce penalty points for learner drivers who failed to display L plates at this time.

SEVERAL HUNDRED PROVISIONAL learner drivers were convicted over failing to display L plates on their vehicles last year, according to the Minister for Justice.

Alan Shatter said that 2,718 motorists had received a summons over the failure to display the legally required signs, leading to 634 convictions.

The average fine for the offence was €133.50, according to the Courts Service.

The number of convictions has risen in recent years, with 410 people convicted in 2009, 503 convicted in 2010, and 634 convicted in 2011.

A further 854 people were convicted of driving without being accompanied by a qualified driver – a rise from 718 in 2010, and 446 in 2009 – with an average fine of €149.50.

In answer to a Parliamentary question about the introduction of penalty points for learner drivers who failed to display L plates, the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said he did not intend for the offence to be brought within the scope of the penalty point system at this time.

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However, the Minister said a plan to introduce a graduated driver licensing system (GDLS) would include an R plate for newly-qualified drivers. The R plate will be one of nine measures that will make up the new system, which has been recommended by the Road Safety Authority.

Varadkar added that more details of the GDLS scheme would be addressed during the drafting of the next Road Traffic Bill later in the year.

Read: 43 per cent of learner permit holders drive unaccompanied

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