Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Questions (500)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

500. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice , further to Parliamentary Question No. 145 on 18 November 2020, the number of learner drivers in 2019 and up to 31 October 2020 who failed to pay the fixed charge notice or FCN issued for driving unaccompanied by a qualified driver, under the Clancy amendment; the number who were summoned to court per year for failure to pay; the number convicted; the fines imposed per year; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41289/20]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy is aware, the Road Traffic (Amendment) Act 2018, also known as the Clancy Amendment, seeks to penalise car owners who knowingly allow their vehicles to be used by an unaccompanied learner driver. The law allows the owners of these vehicles to be fined and gives Gardaí the power to seize their cars if being driven by unaccompanied drivers.  

The following table, furnished to me by the Garda authorities, shows the number of Fixed Charge Notices, issued for Learner Drivers unaccompanied by a qualified driver was as follows: 

 Year

 FCNs Issued

 2019

 6145

 Jan - Oct 2020

 5468

It is worth noting, the information contained in the table is based upon operational data from the PULSE and FCPS systems as was available on 4 December 2020 and is liable to change.

The following table, provided to me by the Courts Service, outlines the number of learner drivers unaccompanied by a qualified driver, who were summoned to court for failure to pay, the number convicted and the fines imposed for the period in question.      

Year

No. of Persons summoned to Court

No. of Persons convicted

No. of Fines imposed

Value of Fines imposed

2019

1,496

489

543

€89,449.00

Jan – Oct 2020

887

175

184

€29,865.00

Please note that the Courts Service can only provide data in relation to where offence codes provided on the system were used by prosecutors. Prosecutors may have used uncoded free text offences and any such offences would not be included in the data provided.

 It is also worth noting that the number of fines imposed is per offence and not persons.