Fines for speeding and a number of other motoring offences are set to double, Minister of State for Transport Hildegarde Naughton has revealed.
The number of fatalities on Irish roads has soared in comparison to last year and over the weekend four people lost their lives within a 24 hour period.
It is a phenomenon that the Road Safety Authority has previously voiced concern about and the Government has decided to increase fines in order to deter bad behaviour:
“We’ve had a number of meetings over the last few weeks at a high level between the Road Safety Authority, An Garda Síochána, the Medical Bureau in relation to what we can do in the immediate term to stem the current increase in serious injuries on our roads - as well as fatalities,” Minister Naughton told Newstalk Breakfast.
“What I am doing within my own department is I’m going to introduce a doubling of fines for some of the key offences that have led to road deaths and serious injuries.
“So I’ll be doubling the fines for speeding offences from €80 to €160, for people who are using a mobile phone while driving I’ll be doubling that fine as well from €60 euro to €120.
“And people who are not wearing seat belts I’m also doubling [the fine].”
More speed cameras
A further 61 speed cameras will go live this morning across 23 counties but Minister Naughton urged people to drive responsibly whether or not they think they are near a camera:
“It’s very important to put the message out there as well that it is about people slowing down, taking the necessary precautions themselves,” she added.
“We all have that responsibility - it’s not just where the speed van is.
“And that’s our message here today - that we all have a responsibility to look out.”
The minister also revealed that the Government is considering changing the legislation surrounding penalty points as well:
“We will be looking at the area of penalty points but that will take primary legislation and that will take longer.
“Because of the increase of the increase of deaths on our roads - this year to date we’ve had 94 people.
“That’s 94 families who have lost someone on our roads - that’s an increase of 28 deaths on this time last year.
“So we wanted to act fast and if we’re waiting for primary legislation that will take too long. So this is one way of acting as a deterrent.”
Main image: A Garda with a speed camera in 2015. Picture by: RollingNews