Penalty Points: Drivers Take Note!

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First introduced in Ireland in 2002, the penalty points system has the aim of improving the behaviour of drivers and road safety in general. This article will remind readers of the rules surrounding the penalty points system and the consequences of incurring penalty points.
What are penalty points?
A driver can incur penalty points for failing to drive safely and adhere to the rules of the road. There are a wide range of offences carrying penalty points; sixty three to be exact, which include driving whilst using a mobile phone, careless driving and speeding.
A driver who is guilty of an offence carrying penalty points will have those penalty points recorded on his/her driving licence for a period of three years.
What are the consequences?
Incurring penalty points can have very serious implications for drivers.
Once a driver accumulates twelve penalty points within a three year period, that driver is automatically disqualified from driving for a period of six months.
A lower threshold of 7 penalty points applies to any driver taking out a first learner permit on or after 1st August 2014, and during the first two years while he or she is driving under a full driving licence.
Once a driver is disqualified, that driver must submit his/her licence to the National Drivers Licence Service within ten days of disqualification commencing.
Penalty points not only carry the threat of disqualification –having penalty points on your licence can also result in your motor insurance premium increasing significantly.
How am I notified?
Drivers who are alleged to have committed a road traffic offence carrying penalty points will either be summonsed to court or alternatively, served with a document known as a Fixed Charge Notice, which requires the wayward driver to pay a fine with a specified period of time.
If the driver fails to pay the fine within the specified period, he/she will receive a court summons and on conviction beforea court, that driver will receive an increased fine and an increased number of penalty points than he/she would have incurred if the Fixed Charge Notice was paid on time. For example, in the case of speeding, a driver receives three penalty points on payment of a Fixed Charge Notice, but will receive five penalty points on conviction before a court.
Drive Carefully!

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