Penalty points loophole to close
A loophole that allows offending motorists to escape penalty points when they cross the Irish border is to be closed by 2015.
Ministers from Dublin and Belfast have agreed a timetable to enact legislation to provide mutual recognition of points in both jurisdictions.
At present a motorist from Northern Ireland caught speeding in the Republic would not get the resulting points endorsed on his or her licence, and vice versa.
Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar and Stormont’s Minister for Regional Development Danny Kennedy and Environment Minister Alex Attwood held talks on the issue at a North South Ministerial Council Transport meeting in Armagh today.
Afterwards Mr Varadkar said a detailed timetable for implementation had been agreed, which will see legislation enacted north and south by December 31st, 2014.
“We made real progress on the mutual recognition of penalty points, and have agreed on a detailed timeline,” he said.
“I look forward to a time when it won’t be possible to escape penalty points simply by crossing the border. This level of co-operation between the two jurisdictions is very important."
Mr Varadkar said he had also invited Mr Attwood and Mr Kennedy to take part in road safety and transport meetings being held as part of Ireland’s presidency of the European Union next year.
A number of events will bring senior officials, agencies, interest and industry groups from across Europe to Ireland during the presidency, including a number relating to road safety and intelligent transport systems.