28/01/2016

First Annual Report On Penalty Points System Published

The first annual report on the Penalty Points system has been published by Justice Minister, Frances Fitzgerald.

The report has been compiled by the Independent Oversight Authority, with Judge Matthew Deery commending the "substantial compliance" found during the review.

Retired Circuit Court Judge, Matthew Deery, was appointed to the Authority in January 2015.

Judge Deery reviewed cancellations by choosing a random sample of a week in each three or four week period; and from that sample he:

• examined files from the sample where the approved cancelling authority has used his discretion and concluded that he would not disagree with the manner of the exercise of that discretion. 

• examined cases where cancellation has been considered in respect of a Garda member driving a private vehicle in the course of official duties, that all such cases were referred to the DPP's Office in accordance with policy.

Judge Deery concluded that he is satisfied that there has been substantial compliance with the revised FCPS policy.

The report noted continued difficulties surrounding the return of Fixed Charge Notices as undelivered by An Post and Judge Deery referred to the recommendations made by Garda Professional Standards Unit (GPSU) in this regard. 

A number of the GPSU recommendations have been considered by the Criminal Justice (FCPS) Working Group and it is intended that the proposed development of a 'master driver licence record' will assist by better linking databases and improving the address details for delivery of Fixed Charge Notices.

(MH/CD)

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