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File image of a garda using a speed camera in Dublin in 2015. Mark Stedman

Fines for speeding and using phone while driving set to double

More than 88,000 drivers were caught speeding so far this year.

LAST UPDATE | 26 Jul 2022

THE ROAD SAFETY Authority (RSA) chairperson has said that current fines were not acting as a deterrent as fines for drivers who are caught speeding, using their phones or not wearing a seatbelt are set to double.

Minister for State Hildegarde Naughton announced this morning that the fine for speeding will rise from €80 to €160 and the fine for using a phone while driving or not wearing a seatbelt will also double from €60 to €120. 

RSA Chairperson Liz O’Donnell said that the current fines were not acting as a “sufficient deterrent”.

“What we were finding was that they weren’t sufficiently a deterrent and that at the 80 and 60 euro level, they weren’t acting sufficiently as a deterrent,” said O’Donnell

“They have to have to hurt people in the pocket to be meaningful.”

She added that there was “widespread disregarding” of speed limits and that action needed to be taken to prevent that.

“What we’re finding unfortunately, is that there was widespread disregarding of the speed limits.

“People were speeding and that they didn’t feel that there was any punishment that was stopping them speeding. So we had to take action.

Hildegarde Naughton said these road traffic offences put drivers, pedestrians and cyclists at risk.  

“Increasing fines for these offences will act as a stronger deterrent to those who break our lifesaving rules of the road,” the Minister of State at the Department of Transport said. 

The changes were announced at the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and Garda mid-summer road safety appeal.

August 2021 was the worst month for road deaths in a decade with 22 deaths, the RSA said.

There has been a 42% increase in deaths so far this year – with 94 fatalities and 673 serious injuries to date in 2022. 

Minister Naughton said she is “gravely concerned” about the number of deaths so far this year. 

“We need to act now to stem this increase,” she said. 

We are approaching August which is typically a very busy time of the year on our roads and as such a high-risk period. 

“The summer is an exciting time when so many people take holidays to explore new and familiar places across Ireland, but we must remember to stay safe on the road while doing so.”

She added that August is also a busy time for road works and safety upgrades, serving as a reminder to be mindful of road workers. 

O’Donnell said: “All of us have a responsibility to stop this upward trend in road crashes.

“There are too many people being killed and seriously injured and we must act to prevent more families from going through this trauma.”

The RSA will launch a new campaign to highlight the so-called speed fallacy where drivers believe speeding saves time on a journey “when in fact the time savings are miniscule, a minute or two at most on an average journey”, O’Donnell added. 

Assistant Garda Commissioner Paul Hilman said gardaí will continue to enforce road traffic laws. The force is committed to “targeted enforcement and increased Garda visibility on our roads”, she said.

61 new safety camera zones came into use this morning, bringing the total number of safety camera zones to 1,373 across the country. 

More than 88,000 drivers were caught speeding so far this year.  

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