The number of penalty points issued has fallen by almost 20%
The decline in Garda numbers has led to fewer penalty points being issued to offending drivers and is impacting on road safety, a TD for south Donegal has said.
Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Transport, Tourism, and Sport, Marc Mac Sharry, says that the legacy of declining Garda numbers is still impacting road safety today as penalty points issued to offending drivers in June of this year are less than they were at the end of the same month ten years ago.
“In June 2009, 790,623 penalty point notices were issued to drivers. In the same month this year, just 633,302 notices were issued, a fall of nearly 20%. This is absolutely absurd, especially when you consider that 14 new penalty point offences were created in 2014," he said.
“Surely with more offences now punishable with penalty points, there should be more penalty point notices issued. This decrease in penalty point notices clearly arises from the drop in the Garda’s Road Policing Unit, which has fallen by a third between 2009 and 2019. This is something which has not been addressed by the government at all. Latest figures show that there has been a fall of 49 Gardai in the Road Policing Unit between 2018 and 2019.
“This follows on from revelations that nearly two-thirds of drivers caught speeding may not have received their penalty points because of a lack of co-operation between the Department of Transport and the Department of Justice.
“What is clear to me is that Minister Flanagan and Minister Ross are operating on two islands completely separate from each other, and they are not working to meet the challenges of road safety head on. Minister Ross is spending his time trying to make it a punishable offence to be caught without your driver’s licence in the car. This is completely nonsensical and distracts from the real issue of a lack of enforcement.”, concluded Deputy Mac Sharry