New Rules From Next Summer For New Drivers

From next summer learners and newly qualified drivers will be put off the road if they clock up just six penalty points.

One of a number of new rules regarding new drivers the government has decided to halve the number of points a learner driver can rack up before they are banned for six months.

Newly qualified drivers will also have to display an 'N' for 'novice' plate for two years after passing their test.

Alongside this there will be an overall increase in penalty points. Speeding will go up from two to four, mobile phone use up from two to three or four and failing to wear a seatbelt will increase from two to three.

This means that learner and new drivers caught speeding and making a phonecall at the wheel face being banned for six months. Penalty points may also be introduced for drivers who fail to display L or N plates.

The move comes after the Government considered a range of options, including doubling penalty points offences for learner and new drivers, in an effort to encourage them to drive safely.

But instead of doubling the points accrued for offences, the Road Traffic Bill to be published in the coming weeks will see the total points limit halved for these motorists.

Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said the move was part of efforts to further reduce deaths and serious injuries.

"Thousands of people have died on the roads over the last few decades and Ireland is now in the top-six safest countries, which didn't happen overnight," he said.

"Our objective is to become the safest country. The new Road Safety Strategy, which is nearing completion, will have new targets on reducing deaths and a focus on reducing injuries.

"The new Road Traffic Bill will include changes to the graduated driver system and learner drivers with six penalty points will be disqualified."


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