Road traffic law being ‘undermined’ by loophole

Road traffic law being 'undermined' by loophole

Jim O'Callaghan

Road traffic legislation should be urgently amended to close a so-called loophole which has helped some motorists avoid six-month driving bans, Fianna Fáil’s justice spokesperson has said.

Concerns have been raised about section 2.8 of the Road Traffic Act 2002 which provides: “Where, upon conviction of a person of a penalty point offence, an ancillary disqualification order is made in respect of the person, penalty points in respect of the offence shall not be endorsed on the entry of the person.”

According to The Irish Times, a number of motorists have avoided reaching 12 points on their license and the consequent six-month driving ban by having their lawyers ask for a shorter ancillary disqualification order — even for a single day.

Jim O’Callaghan, justice spokesperson for Fianna Fáil, told the newspaper: “The purpose behind our road traffic laws is undermined if people can avoid a penalty point disqualification for six months by seeking a short disqualification order instead of the imposition of penalty points.

“Obviously, a new consolidated Road Traffic Act is needed, but in the interim the minister for transport should bring forward a short amending Bill to close off this loophole.”

Pa Daly, justice spokesperson for Sinn Féin, agreed that the law should be changed but said it is “not be correct to say there is widespread use of this loophole”.

“Some judges are opposed to the use of it and are not using it,” he said.

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