Speed Vans Lead to Rise in Penalty Points

Penalty points have been credited by road safety experts with helping the steady fall of deaths on Irish roads. Penalty pointed are now being handed out at breakneck speed. Around one in three drivers have been caught out. The number of points is increasing since the introduction of speed cameras.
The number of drivers getting penalty points has trebled since the introduction of speed cameras. In 2011 the total on the Road Safety Authority’s national register increased by 50,303 compared with 16,433 in the same period in 2010.

A few years ago the number of motorists receiving points was 1 in 20 but in 2011 this climbed to nearly every one in three. Speeding accounts for 596,196 penalty point notices and is the main issue that people receive points for but in 2011 97,428 motorists received points for using a mobile phone whilst driving. Another 48,521 motorists received points for not wearing a seat belt. 23,963 were accounted for breaking the traffic lights.

The majority of those motorists have two points but even those two points could result in an insurance hike. Only 135 motorists have clocked up the 12 points needed to lose their licence for six months.

In 2004 93,000 drivers were caught for point offences but by the end of July this had reached 732,710.

The increase coincides with the introduction of Listowel-based Go Safe speed cameras. The company isn’t paid on the basis of the number caught speeding but operates under a fixed price contract to carry out 6000 hours of traffic monitoring each month. It is estimated that this is worth 65m euro over five years.