First prosecutions against drivers for not bringing licences to court

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
First prosecutions against drivers for not bringing licences to court

THE first prosecutions have commenced against drivers accused of not bringing their licences to court to have penalty points recorded.

The 21 motorists, mostly men, were summonsed to appear in Dublin District Court today where Judge Marie Keane asked the prosecution to clarify legal issues and she adjourned the cases.

The alleged offence is under Section 22 of the Road Traffic Act, 2002 and states the motorists failed to appear in court to produce their driving licences or learner permits after they committed motoring offences including speeding and holding a mobile phone while driving.

Sergeant Brendan Heneghan of the Garda Traffic Department said the court prosecutions had been brought following requests by the Ministers for Justice and Transport. The 2002 Act had been updated in 2010, he also told the court.

Gda Sgt Heneghan said  “clarity” was needed in the matter and he asked for an adjournments of all the cases.

One  accused man, who was self employed explained that he had taken the day off work. He told Judge Keane that he was “late paying by a day” and was due to have four penalty points put on his licence. He claimed he had not contested it and he went to the office that issued the notice, and the points were put on his licence.

“I’m kind of perplexed as to why I’m here in the first place,” he said.

Judge Keane told another man that it was “probably very technical” but the State had to be able to prove its case. “There's a legal point that has to be clarified and I cannot deal with it today,” she told the defendant, adding, “I believe it would be unsafe to do so.”

“The garda in question is not here and I had to travel all the way from Balbriggan,” said another man when his case was called. A British man was among the defendants and told the court he had a UK licence and it was the third time he had been in court. His case was also adjourned until a later date.