The Road Safety Authority (RSA) notes the figures contained in the response to the Deputy’s PQ reply.
The vast majority of speeding offences committed are non-intercept detections made by the operation of the GoSafe vans. This means that no licence number is collected at the time of the offence. Therefore, for the individuals who do not opt to accept the fixed charge notice and the case goes to court, no licence number is available. Many of these individuals do not have a valid Irish licence in the first place , or may not show up in court and their case is dealt with in-absentia by the judge. Another cohort choose not to bring a licence to court on the day. We are aware of Judges putting cases back to later in the day and insisting the defendant go home and bring back a licence before the case proceeds. This is time consuming and Courts are busy so it doesn’t always happen.
The allocation of penalty points is dependent upon a driving licence number being collected by An Garda Síochána at the time of detection, or by the Court Service when the case comes before the courts. The RSA is assisting, as part of a working group on the Criminal Justice Working Group, with the Department of Justice and Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Courts Service and An Garda Síochána to put in place measures to address the issue in the longer term by linking the driver’s licence to the vehicle. However, there may still be cases where no licence exists to apply points regardless of what system is in place.
The RSA also believes the rollout of the new Garda mobility enforcement project will be a significant step forward in addressing this issue.
Other options could be considered to address the problem of defendants wasting Courts time and money by appearing without their licence when they have one but this is a matter for the Courts Service.