Speeding convictions down by 40% since 2016

Number of penalty points issued for speeding dropped nationally over three-year period

The number of  convictions and penalty points issued for speeding has dropped since 2016. File photograph: Alan Betson

The number of convictions and penalty points issued for speeding has dropped since 2016. File photograph: Alan Betson

 

Speeding convictions have plunged in several parts of the country over the past three years, with the overall trend showing a nationwide drop of almost 40 per cent, latest official figures show.

In Cavan district court area, the number of defendants convicted of speeding dropped from 133 in 2016 to just 27 last year, while in Dundalk convictions were down from 109 to 28 over the same period.

Convictions in Galway district court area dropped from 266 to 74, in Bray, Co Wicklow, they went from 120 to 50 and numbers in Thurles, Co Tipperary, dipped from 62 to 16.

Meanwhile in Gorey, Co Wexford, convictions decreased from 145 to 70 and figures for Kilkenny district court area went down from 244 to 73.

In Sligo, there were 79 speeding convictions during 2016 compared to 47 last year, while in Ardee, Co Louth, numbers dipped from 77 to 20 and Athlone, Co Westmeath, went from 92 to 27.

In Ballinasloe, Co Galway, there were no convictions at all last year compared to 42 three years ago.

Convictions in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, more than halved from 20 to 9, in Co Cork, convictions in Bandon dropped from 31 to eight and in Fermoy went from 87 to 50, while Co Galway’s Doire an Fheich was down from 35 to one.

In Co Kerry, Killarney speeding convictions were down from 56 to 18 while in Mallow they dropped from 92 to 26.

In Dublin, convictions were down from 1,890 to 1,282 over the three-year period.

Few areas bucked the national trend. They include Arklow, Co Wicklow, where speeding convictions were up from 13 to 31, Ballina, Co Mayo, from 12 to 47, Buncrana, Co Donegal, from three to 13 and Wexford, up from 120 to 131.

Downward trend

Nationally, speeding convictions are down from 6,911 three years ago to 4,237 last year. Figures for this year to date, showing 1,632 convictions, suggest a continuing downward trend.

While thousands of motorists are convicted of speeding every year, tens of thousands more are issued with penalty points for the offence.

But there has also been a further decline in the number of penalty points issued, as endorsed by the National Vehicle and Driver File, according to latest figures.

Some 198,844 penalty points were issued in 2016, which dipped to 189,095 in 2017 and dropped further again to 177,092 last year. Penalty points are issued for a range of motoring offences, including speeding, not wearing a seat belt, driving without insurance and careless driving.

The figures were released by Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan in response to a parliamentary question by Meath West TD and Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín.

Convictions for drink-driving are up significantly from 2,920 in 2016 to 3,911 last year, although the variations between district court areas around the country show a less distinct trend, figures also released to Mr Tóibín show.

Separately, there was a drop in the number of people convicted for driving while using a mobile phone over recent years, according to figures released to Fine Gael TD for Louth Fergus O’Dowd.

In 2016, 1,887 people were convicted of the offence nationally, compared to 1,659 in 2017 and 1,598 last year.