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Written Answers. - Road Traffic Offences.

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 1

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 386. Mr. Ring Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring  asked the Minister for Transport Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  if the Taoiseach, Ministers and Ministers of State are exempt from the penalty points system; and if their drivers are exempt when driving State vehicles. [23306/02]

 387. Mr. Ring Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring  asked the Minister for Transport Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  if State cars are exempt from the penalty points system. [23307/02]

Minister for Transport (Mr. Brennan): Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan I propose to take Questions Nos. 386 and 387 together.

Penalty points apply to speeding offences since 31 October 2002. Where a driver is convicted of an offence of exceeding the speed limit or pays a fixed charge, the appropriate number of penalty points will be endorsed on the driver's licence record.

Regulations made under the Road Traffic Acts relating to speed limits, provide that vehicles being used by members of the Garda Síochána in the performance of their duties as such members, ambulances and fire brigades are exempt from the built up area speed limit, special speed limits, ordinary speed limits and the general speed limit. There are no exemptions applied in respect of the motorway speed limit.

Section 38 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, also provides that the prohibition on driving a vehicle without a driving licence does not apply to a member of the Garda Síochána driving a vehicle in the course of his or her duty. That offence is listed in the Road Traffic Act, 2002, as a penalty point offence.

That Act also provides that penalty points will apply to certain offences which have been specifically created under regulations relating to the control of traffic. Those regulations provide that drivers of a fire brigade vehicle or an ambulance or a member of the Garda Síochána driving a vehicle in the course of his or her duty are exempted from the prohibitions and restrictions imposed in the regulations where the use of the vehicle does not endanger the safety of road users.


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