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Eamonn Farrell

Ross says no 'heated' row over speeding proposals, but some FG ministers have issues with severity of penalty points

The general scheme of the Bill was approved this afternoon.

MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT Shane Ross has denied that there was any “heated” row at Cabinet today over his proposals to increase fines and penalty points for speeding.

Last week, Ross said he would be pressing ahead with his plans to introduce a graduated fines for people caught speeding. The minister had revealed his proposals to during the summer.

Under the proposed new rules, the faster a driver goes, the more penalty points and fines they will get. 

The general scheme of the Bill was approved this afternoon, however, two of the main issues of concern to Fine Gael ministers were referred to a Cabinet sub-committee.

These include concerns over the severity of the numbers of points that can be issued for a single speeding offence and the removal of garda discretion if drivers are not in possession of their licence when stopped.

It has been previously reported that some within the Fine Gael party have major concerns about the new speeding laws, with issues being raised at a recent parliamentary party meeting.

Despite reports of an argument over the fines today, Cabinet sources state there were no raised voices. 

However, it is understood that Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring did ask for the entire Bill to be withdrawn by the transport minister, stating that it was an attack on rural Ireland.

It is also understood that Ministers Paul Kehoe and Heather Humphreys said they had received numerous emails from those who are unhappy about the proposed new laws.

Ross has said he is happy with certain aspects of the Bill to be teased out in the Cabinet sub-committee or for those issues to be dealt with under pre-legislative scrutiny. 

Under the proposed new laws, a graduated penalty system for speeding will be introduced where the speed limit is exceeded by 30kph or less, penalty points will be applied to the driver’s licence.

The proposed fixed charge amounts and penalty points are set out as follows:

Exceeding a speed limit by up to 10 km/h:

  • Fixed Charge – €80
  • Penalty Points on payment of fixed charge – 3
  • Penalty Points on Conviction – 5

Exceeding a speed limit by more than 10km/h but not more than 20km/h:

  • Fixed Charge – €150
  • Penalty Points on payment of fixed charge – 4
  • Penalty Points on Conviction – 6

By more than 20km/h but not more than 30km/h

  • Fixed Charge – €200
  • Penalty Points on payment of fixed charge – 7
  • Penalty Points on Conviction – 7

Following the successful passage of his drink-driving legislation, the minister said speeding was next on his list.

“It is as big a killer as alcohol and we will be introducing speeding legislation. I hope we will have a general scheme [of the Bill] before Christmas,” he told in August. 

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