15 fines for lawbreaking Irish motorists are to double from tomorrow, including speeding, holding a phone while driving and failure to stop for a school warden.
The fine for failing to stop a bicycle for a school warden stop sign will double to €80, according to the Road Safety Authority.
The context of the increase in fines is that as of today, 123 people have been killed on Irish roads so-far this year, an increase of 12 fatalities compared to the same time last year.
UPDATE: The RSA has provided this list of 16 offences of which the fines are doubling, and the article above and below this table has been updated also to reflect this update:
|Offence||Within 28 days||Within 56 days||3rd Payment Option|
|A learner permit holder driving a vehicle unaccompanied by a qualified person||€160||€240||€320|
|Exceeding speed limit||€160||€240||€320|
|Failure to stop a vehicle for a school warden sign||€160||€240||€320|
|Driving at speed exceeding that which will enable driver to stop vehicle within a distance driver can see to be clear||€160||€240||€320|
|A learner permit holder failing to display an L-plate or tabard while driving||€120||€180||€240|
|Holding a mobile phone while driving.||€120||€180||€240|
|Not wearing safety belt||€120||€180||€240|
|Driver permitting person under specified age to occupy a seat when not wearing safety belt||€120||€180||€240|
|Driver of car or goods vehicle permitting child under 3 years of age to travel in it without being restrained by appropriate child restraint||€120||€180||€240|
|Driver of car or goods vehicle permitting child over 3 years of age to travel in it without being restrained by appropriate child restraint||€120||€180||€240|
|Driver of car or goods vehicle permitting child to be restrained by rearward-facing child restraint fitted to a seat protected by active frontal air-bag||€120||€180||€240|
|Not wearing safety belt or appropriate child restraint in specified category of vehicle||€120||€180||€240|
|Using vehicle not equipped with a speed limitation device||€120||€180||€240|
|Using a vehicle equipped with a speed limitation device not complying with requirements in Regulation 4(5) (as amended by Regulation 2 of the European Communities (Installation and Use of Speed Limitation Devices in Motor Vehicle) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 ( S.I. No. 339 of 2006 )) of the European Communities (Installation and Use of Speed Limitation Devices in Motor Vehicles) Regulations 2005 ( S.I. No. 831 of 2005 )||€120||€180||€240|
|Failure by a novice driver to display an N-plate or tabard when driving in a public place||€120||€180||€240|
|Failing to stop a bicycle for a school warden stop sign.||€80||€120||€160|
If a driver or, in the case of the bicycle and school warden offence, a cyclist fails to pay the fine, it increases as outlined in the above table. The level of points will not be increased as that’s a separate process.
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton, made the announcement at the Road Safety Authority’s Annual Conference in Croke Park today, where the theme is Tackling Speeding – Risk Factors and Interventions.
The RSA said that the World Health Organisation estimates that “a 5% reduction in average speed could result in a 30% reduction in fatal collisions, and therefore reducing motorists’ speed is essential to improving safety on our roads.”
The increased fines kick in for anybody caught from tomorrow, October 27, and the Minister is also to bring in three new Fixed Charge Notices (aka “on-the-spot” fines) for existing offences.
The three new offices will be: The misuse of a disabled parking permit (€200), parking in an electric charging bay for anything other than the intended purpose of charging a vehicle battery (€80) and the offence of breaching a HGV ban and entering a specified public road without a valid permit will incur a fixed charge penalty of €200.
The electric charging offence is a departure from the norm as Fixed Charge Notices are generally reserved for safety-related offences.
In a press release for the RSA event, Minister Hildegarde Naughton said: “As of today there have been 122 people killed on the road, an increase of 11 on this day last year, and compared to 2019. In response to the increase in road deaths this year, this summer I announced that I was bringing forward the implementation of Action 30 in the Road Safety Strategy to review the penalties for serious road traffic offences and said that I intended to increase the fines for those offences that significantly contribute to road deaths.”
“Last week I signed the necessary regulations, which will double the fixed charge penalty for a total of 16 high-risk driving offences including speeding, use of a mobile phone while driving, failure to wear a seatbelt or use an appropriate child restraint, and unaccompanied learner driving. This increase will come into effect after midnight tonight.”
She said that the fines have not increased since they were introduced, in some cases almost 20 years ago and claimed that the increase would “act as a stronger deterrent to those who choose to break our lifesaving rules of the road.”
Minister Naughton added: “Ireland’s current Road Safety Strategy outlines Safe Speeds as one of the main priority intervention areas. I’m delighted to see an emphasis, in today’s annual conference, on 30km/h speed limits. Setting more 30km/h speed limits on our streets is essential if we are to make our cities, towns and villages safe for communities, but it also has a role to play in tackling climate change and encouraging modal shift to more sustainable transport options.”
Ms Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the Road Safety Authority said: “Speed continues to be a contributory factor to fatal collisions in Ireland. Analysis of Irish Coronial data shows that one quarter of driver fatalities with a record of their actions available were exceeding a safe speed. Recent survey research conducted by the RSA found that a third of drivers admitted to exceeding 50km/h speed limits by more than 10km/h ‘at least sometimes’. The same research found that just under a third of drivers reported exceeding 100km/h speed limits by more than 10km/h ‘at least sometimes’.”
She added: “This behaviour is concerning and that is why I want to commend the Minister’s decision to double the fines for drivers who break lifesaving rules of the road. It is timely as we head into a high-risk Bank Holiday and should help put us on the path to reduce deaths and serious injuries by 50% by the end of the decade.”
The charade continues. Sure they could take action to actually make the roads safer (proper design, camera enforcement, portal submissions) or they do something meaningless to say they are doing stuff and get a few headlines. Pushing up the fines for the miniscule amount of offenses being detected (conservatively is it even 1%?) will have zero impact
There was a brief day or two after the original fine for driving while talking on a mobile, when people hesitated doing so. Once they noticed enforcement was rare or intermittent, they resumed. Texting, looking down at a tablet, doing makeup, reading a booking while driving through a roundabout, no seatbelt, all sorts of things happen as drivers know nothing will happen, even with a Guard there. The French ban on even talking calls hands free using earpiece or loudspeaker would be beyond impossible. Thank you Minister Naughton for the dry humour of pretending to care about vulnerable road users.