From today road users will be subject to adjustments to penalty point rules, which include the introduction of new offences.
Motorists will be subject to increased penalty points for nine current offences and an additional 14 new offences will now attract penalty points.
Within this, drivers using a vehicle without an NCT and those parking in a dangerous position will be able to pay a fixed charge fine.
These charges previously involved a mandatory court appearances, which could have potentially drawn a higher number of penalty points.
The system for penalty points has been in place since 2002 and aims to tackle offences that create risks to road safety.
A review of the system was carried out in 2012, with the suggestions being introduced today. These new measures are given legal effect in the Road Traffic Act 2014.
Speaking about the new rules, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe, said, “The fixed charge and penalty point’s system has played a major role in improving road safety in the years since its introduction.”
The Minister went on to focus on concerns relating to not displaying L plates or N plates. On this, he said:
I know that some people may question the penalties for driving without an L Plate or N Plate. We need to remember that the main purpose of the penalty point’s system is to concentrate minds and, ultimately, change driver behaviour.
Donohoe went on to point out that 2013 saw the first increase in road deaths for a long time, and that figures for 2014 were likely to be similar.
The new offences that will now draw penalty points include:
- Failure by learner or novice drivers to display L plates or N plates respectively on their cars;
- Drivers breaking a ban on U-turns;
- Breaking rules on the use of mini roundabouts;
- Offences relating to the size and weight of larger vehicles;
- Going beyond no-entry to vehicles signs;
- Disobeying traffic control signs;
- and driving without a licence plate or with one that has been altered inaccurately.
Offences that will now face a change to the number of penalty points they now carry will include:
- Driving without a test certificate;
- Dangerous parking;
- Failure to keep to the left-hand side of the road;
- Dangerous overtaking;
- Driving across the road’s middle line;
- Failure to stop for a stop sign;
- Failure to yield at a yield sign or yield line;
- Not following traffic signs at junctions;
- Driving through traffic lights;
- and breaking of speed restrictions.