Written Answers. - Parking Fines.

Noel Ahern

Ceist:

104 Mr. N. Ahern asked the Minister for Justice the reason courts are handing out driving disqualification sentences for non-payment of parking fines in view of the fact that the notice of parking offence slip as placed on the vehicle by a garda or traffic warden, clearly states that the maximum penalty is £200 and does not mention the possibility of a suspension; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8905/96]

A person who receives an on-the-spot fines notice for a parking offence may pay the sum appropriate to the alleged offence to the relevant authority within a specified period. Failure to pay such a fine is not in itself an offence but can result in prosecution in the courts for the alleged parking offence.

Section 27 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, gives the courts discretionary power to disqualify a person convicted of an offence in relation to a mechanically propelled vehicle from holding a driving licence. This discretionary power may be exercised without prejudice to the infliction of any other punishment authorised by law.