Mutual Recognition of Penalty Points

16th March 2013

consultationdoepointmarch2013The DOE (Department of the Environment) has issued a consultation paper which is seeking views on proposals to introduce mutual recognition of penalty points between Northern Ireland and Ireland for the offences of speeding, drink/drug driving, non-wearing of seatbelts and using a mobile phone while driving.

Currently, vehicle drivers including motorcyclists from Northern Ireland detected committing a motoring offence while driving in Ireland escape the consequences of this when they return home, as it is not possible under existing legislation to endorse their driving licence with any resulting penalty points.

The same applies to an Irish motorist detected committing an endorsable driving offence in Northern Ireland.

The consultation background states, “Mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between the UK and Ireland is already in place.

Since its introduction in January 2010, under the terms of the 1998 European Convention on Driving Disqualifications, Click Here pdf – 2.3mb UK drivers disqualified for serious motoring offences in Ireland also have that disqualification recognised and enforced against them when they return home.

The same applies for Irish drivers disqualified in the UK.

Mutual recognition of penalty points across the island of Ireland would complement and strengthen the benefits already achieved through the introduction of mutual recognition of driving disqualifications in 2010.

It would deal with those drivers who act irresponsibly when they cross the border and commit motoring offences which fall short of disqualification but which may nevertheless be serious offences.”

The objective is:

  • To implement mutual recognition of penalty points between Northern Ireland and Ireland for the four offences of: speeding; drink/drug driving; non-wearing of seatbelts; and using a mobile phone while driving;
  • To ensure that NI-resident drivers who receive penalty points in Ireland for a motoring offence committed there, will have the points added to their licence when they return to Northern Ireland and vice-versa for drivers resident in Ireland who receive penalty points in Northern Ireland;
  • To deter unsafe driving by irresponsible motorists who are presently aware that they may escape effective penalisation and to address inappropriate attitudes to breaking road safety laws across the island of Ireland; and
  • To complement and strengthen the benefits already achieved through the introduction of mutual recognition of driving disqualifications in 2010 under the 1998 European Convention on Driving Disqualifications.

The options in the consultation are:

Option 1: Do nothing

There would be no cost.

However, there would equally be no benefit in terms of (i) road safety or (ii) action seen to be taken to address a known problem.

Option 2: To implement mutual recognition of penalty points between Northern Ireland and Ireland for all offences There is no precedent and no agreed international framework dealing with the mutual recognition of penalty points for motoring offences.

It is a complex issue with practical difficulties. There are differences in the penalty points systems in Northern Ireland and Ireland both in terms of which offences attract an endorsement and the number of penalty points which the same endorsable offence attracts. To achieve 100% mutual recognition a significant amount of regulation would need to be undertaken to align offences and penalties. It is considered, therefore, that this is not a realistic option, not least because of the groundbreaking nature of the work involved.

Option 3: To implement mutual recognition of penalty points between Northern Ireland and Ireland for a finite number of offences.  As indicated above, the offences of speeding; drink/drug driving; non-wearing of seatbelts; and using a mobile phone while driving have been selected as an initial starting point, because of their direct impact on road safety and the numbers killed and seriously injured on the roads (KSIs).

This is the Department’s preferred option. It would provide the necessary legislative and administrative framework, as well as the benefits of practical experience, to facilitate any future extension of the scheme to include other offences.

The consultation also lets you comment if you have any additional remarks on any of the points covered in the consultation paper.

Our Response

At Right To Ride we are preparing a response to the consultation and we would like to have your thoughts as riders which we can input into our response.

You can comment below or email us at info@righttoride.co.uk

 Original source of text – DOE Consultation paper

Links Information

Closing date for responses is Tuesday 14th May 2013.

View the Consultation Document: Consultation Paper on Mutual Recognition of Penalty Points.pdf  259KB

MS Word format of the Consultation Response Paper: Consultation Response Form.DOC  76KB
Consultation website page – Click Here

 

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  1. Charlie Chambers says:

    It is long overdue that offences committed in the North by Southern drivers & vice versa should be added to that driver’s licence – if drivers are getting away with speeding/mobile phone use etc then they will continue to do it, it’s laughable really!

  2. Road safety and prevention of accidents are paramount.
    It would be beneficial to have both Northern Ireland and Ireland follow the same penalty point system.
    Drivers/riders who abide by the law have nothing to worry about.
    Drivers who don’t will pay the price.

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