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TD says delay sending correction letter meant wife got his penalty points

Andrew Doyle says a letter asserting that he was the speeding driver, and not his wife, arrived too late with the authorities.

Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

A FINE GAEL TD has said he attempted to correct Garda records so that penalty points he accrued while driving his wife’s car were removed from his wife’s licence and added to his – but a letter doing so was sent too late.

Andrew Doyle, the chairman of the Oireachtas agriculture committee, said he had filled out a form insisting that it was him – and not his wife – who had been driving the family car when it was caught speeding in October 2009.

However, he said, the letter missed the deadline for sending corrections to a penalty points notice – meaning the points could not be removed from his wife’s licence and transferred to his own.

Doyle was speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland after details of Doyle’s speeding offence were given to the Irish Examiner.

The report revealed that Doyle had been caught speeding while driving home to Kilmacanogue after a late-night sitting of the Oireachtas finance committee – of which Doyle was a member at the time – where members had discussed amendments to the legislation that set up NAMA.

‘Completely forgot’ 60 km/h speed limit

He was driving a car registered in his wife’s name when he was caught driving at 82 kilometres per hour on a southbound stretch of the N11 where the speed limit is 60 kilometres an hour southbound, but 80 kilometres an hour northbound.

He said he had “completely forgot” that the limit on the stretch in question was 60 kilometres an hours.

“I signed the form, put in my licence number, signed all the things, and gave it to her [his wife] and said, ‘You post that back’,” Doyle said.

However, his wife had then received a response telling her that the notice had been submitted “either two or three days too late”.

“Seemingly if it doesn’t arrive in time it’s too late to reassign them,” he siad. “She just didn’t post it in time – it’s just as simple as that.”

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The Road Traffic Act 2002 allows motorists who are given penalty points notices to have the points transferred to another person, if that other person was driving their venichle,

Doyle told the Irish Examiner about the driving offence following queries to all TDs about whether they had ever sought to have penalty points removed from their driving licences, or had been approached about having offences removed.

He said the incident had become a running joke in his family, and that he was probably rare among TDs in trying to have penalty points added to his licence, rather than removed.

He said his wife had remarked: “I must be the only person that could be in bed at 2:30 in the morning and have points assigned to me.”

Read: Ming: ‘I want my penalty points back’

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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