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Dublin: 21 °C Tuesday 16 July, 2019
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200,000 penalty points will now NOT be cancelled

It was thought that errors in updating the Road Traffic Act could have meant large numbers of points being written off.

Image: Shutterstock/Saklakova

NEW LEGISLATION BEING published today aims at tackling a loophole that could have seen as many as 200,000 penalty points quashed.

Speaking at a press conference today, Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe made the admission that “I can see that a mistake has been made in relation to this.”

The issue relates to two section of legislation that were not updated by the new 2014 Road Traffic Act. 

These two sections of legislation would have affected the 78,000 individuals who have received penalty points since 1 August.

Application of points to licences have been suspended for the past nine days – although this has not affected the enforcement of the fixed charge system.

One of these oversights related to updates of the 2002 Act for certain offences included in the fixed charge system. These included using a vehicle without a valid NCT certificate and parking in a dangerous position.

Endorsement of points

The other issue related to the endorsement of penalty points. Crossover between the 2014 Act and the 2010 Act created confusion about the correct process for endorsement.

This created a “legislative error”.

The new Bill would ensure this error would have “no bearing on penalty points applied on foot of a court decision, nor to fines that individuals have paid on foot of fixed charge notices for motoring offences”.

The Minister stated that he had been advised by the Attorney General on the introduction of the new Bill.

It was specified penalty points that have been endorsed on licences since the start of August will stand, and it is hoped that the new legislation will be enacted next week, preventing any further issue relating to endorsement of points.

New bill 

The new Bill is being published today and will be read in the Dáil on Tuesday next week. Speaking about it, the Minister, said:

On this occasion, two technical errors got through the various legislative checks.  Once my Department discovered the errors, every effort was made to quickly clarify the situation and to take corrective action.

“Road Safety is a priority for me and work will continue with colleagues across Government to implement the Road Safety Strategy to reduce deaths and serious injuries of people on our roads,” he said.

Read: Here’s everything you can get penalty points for from today>

Also: Emergency legislation may be needed to close penalty points loophole

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