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Penalty Points

More than 500,000 people had points on their licences this year - here's a county-by-county breakdown

A total of 510,269 people had points on their licences on 30 September 2020.

MORE THAN HALF a million people had penalty points on their driving licences this year. 

Data released through a Freedom of Information request shows that a total of 510,269 people had points on their licences on 30 September 2020. 

This represents a fall from last year, when a total of 516,390 people had points on their licences on 30 September 2019.

Similar to last year, the highest numbers were seen in some of the most highly populated areas of the country – Dublin (109,365 people) , followed by Cork (50,946) and Galway (27,597).

The counties with the lowest number of drivers with penalty points were ones that had some of the country’s lowest populations – Leitrim with 2,820 points, Longford with 4,885 and Sligo with 5,561. 

51,458 of the people with penalty points placed on licences in the period covered were foreign licence holders.

Essentially, a penalty point is a formal reprimand by An Garda Síochána endorsed on a person’s driving licence to show that they are guilty of a specific driving offence. Such offences include speeding, breaking red lights, holding a mobile phone while driving and driving without insurance.

The information provided by the Road Safety Authority also gave a breakdown of the number of penalty points drivers had on their licenses.

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Here’s a county-by-county breakdown:

  • Carlow – 6,457
  • Cavan – 7,994
  • Clare – 14,021
  • Cork – 50,946
  • Donegal – 11,845
  • Dublin – 109,365
  • Galway – 27,597
  • Kerry – 14,746
  • Kildare – 23,734
  • Kilkenny – 9,337
  • Laois – 9,302
  • Leitrim – 2,802
  • Limerick – 22,034
  • Longford – 4,885
  • Louth – 9,866
  • Mayo – 13,452
  • Meath – 20,544
  • Monaghan – 6,013
  • Offaly – 8,434
  • Roscommon – 6,546
  • Sligo – 5,561
  • Tipperary – 15,994
  • Waterford – 12,157
  • Westmeath – 9,012
  • Wexford – 18,865
  • Wicklow – 16,582

Most drivers included in the list had three penalty points (359,593), while 35,576 people had two points and 52,226 had six points. 

Overall, 16,409 drivers had seven or more penalty points. A total of 804 drivers across the country had 12 points. 

Being issued with 12 penalty points results in disqualification for six months, while novice and learner permit drivers face disqualification if they receive seven points on their licence.

The figures give a snapshot of penalty points in Ireland, as they show the number of penalty points drivers in each county had on 30 September.

As penalty points stay on a driver’s licence for three years, these points could have been given at any stage over the past three years.

A full list of offences which can result in penalty points can be found here

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