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Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Half of drivers with penalty points think they were caught unfairly

A survey of 4,000 motorists also found a small number of drivers have been ‘swapping’ penalty points.

ALMOST HALF OF drivers with penalty points feel hard done by over how they got the punishment.

A survey of 4,000 motorists by AA Ireland found that 46 per cent of respondents felt that the circumstances in which they had received penalty points were fair – but slightly more than that disagreed.

Just over 48 per cent of people surveyed felt aggrieved over how they received the penalty points.

The survey also found a small number of drivers have been swapping penalty points. 2 per cent of the motorists polled said they had been asked by another driver – most often a family member or friend – to accept penalty points on their behalf.

“Motorists know the importance of penalty points and have overwhelmingly supported them,” said AA Director of Policy Conor Faughnan.

“But at the same time nobody likes to receive them. A lot of people complained that while they may have been speeding, so were the cars in front of and behind them, and they are inclined to feel harshly treated because they were the ones stopped”.

In many cases drivers complained that they received penalty points for slightly exceeding a speed limit that was too low for the road in question.

Around 766,000 people – roughly one third of all drivers – have at least one penalty point. Less than 3 per cent of these drivers have six of more points.

“This is a clear indication that once a driver receives points they become much more inclined to be careful,” said Faughnan.

Do you have any penalty points? And did you deserve them? Tell us in the comments…

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