Road Safety | 

Fines for speeding and using phones while driving to double within weeks

Motorists who fail to wear their seatbelts or use their phone while driving will see fixed charges doubling from €60 to €120, while those caught speeding will be forced to cough up €160 instead of the usual €80.
Fines for speeding, mobile phone usage, and failing to wear a seatbelt will be doubled in the coming weeks. Photo: Gardaí.

Fines for speeding, mobile phone usage, and failing to wear a seatbelt will be doubled in the coming weeks. Photo: Gardaí.

Neasa CumiskeySunday World

Fines for driving offences such as speeding are set to be doubled in a matter of weeks, the Minister of State at the Department of Transport has said.

Motorists who fail to wear their seatbelts or use their phone while driving will see fixed charges doubling from €60 to €120, while those caught speeding will be forced to cough up €160 instead of the usual €80.

Fines will also be doubled for other offences that put the safety of vulnerable road users at risk.

The announcement was made at the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána’s mid-summer road safety appeal, which urged road users to drive safely and slow down as the peak summer holiday season gets into full swing.

Higher traffic volumes are expected over the next few weeks as tourists and holidaymakers take to the roads during what is described as a “high-risk period”.

August 2021 saw the highest number of monthly fatalities in a decade with an alarming total of 22 deaths.

2022 has already seen a 42pc increase in fatalities compared to the same period in 2021. 94 people have been killed on the roads so far this year, an increase of 28 deaths.

Speaking at the launch of the Road Safety Appeal at Atlantic Technological University (ATU) in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton said: “I am gravely concerned about the high number of deaths on our roads this year.

“We need to act now to stem this increase. Accordingly, I intend to double the fines for key road traffic offences which are putting drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists at most risk of death on our roads.

“Increasing fines for these offences will act as a stronger deterrent to those who break our lifesaving rules of the road.”

RSA Chairperson, Ms Liz O’Donnell, said: “We have seen a devastating increase in road trauma this year. 94 people have died and 673 seriously injured.

“All of us have a responsibility to stop this upward trend in road crashes. I want to commend the Minister’s decision to double the fines for drivers who break lifesaving rules of the road.

“There are too many people being killed and seriously injured and we must act to prevent more families from going through this trauma.”

And Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, Roads Policing and Community Engagement for An Garda Síochána added: “There has been an alarming increase in road traffic incidents this year. We know many people will be eager to take to the roads to enjoy the remainder of the summer period, but we want people to do so responsibly.

“Sadly 94 families already this year have been visited by members of An Garda Síochána to be told the devastating news of the loss of a loved one.

“An Garda Síochána will continue to enforce our life saving road traffic laws and we are committed to targeted enforcement and increased Garda visibility on our roads to address the worrying increase in road deaths this year.”

It comes after gardaí introduced more than 60 new safety camera zones across the country in an effort to reduce speed-related deaths.

61 zones became operational from 6am this morning, bringing the total number of safety camera zones nationwide to 1,373.

The camera operate in areas where there is a history of speed-related crashes, which are known as speed enforcement zones, and can include school safety zones, community engagement request zones and road works safety zones.

The primary purpose of safety cameras is to reduce speed-related collisions and injuries, and to save lives.


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