The penalty points system is underpinned by a government strategy to significantly reduce deaths and injuries on Irish roads and bring Irish road safety in line with international best practice

Ireland’s road safety record has improved dramatically in recent years and we are now ahead of target in relation to road deaths.

The target published in the RSA’s Road Safety Strategy, 2007-2012, was to reduce fatalities to no greater than 60 fatalities per million by the end of 2012 – equivalent to 252 deaths per annum. In 2009, there were 240 road deaths in Ireland, the lowest annual total since records began in 1959.

The RSA recognises that road death reduction needs to be a permanent phenomenon not just a one-off and we will be endeavouring to ensure that the trend remains downwards.

We believe that the penalty points system plays an important role in this by incentivising drivers to modify their behaviour and drive more safely.

Mutual recognition and driver disqualifications

From 28 January 2010 Ireland and the UK will operate the European Convention on Driving Disqualifications. This means that a driving disqualification which is imposed to a licence holder in the UK who is resident in Ireland can be recognised here and the person will not be able to drive in Ireland. Disqualifications imposed in Ireland to licence holders resident in the UK will similarly be capable of being implemented in the UK. Only disqualifications for traffic offences committed on or after 28 January 2010 are subject to this.

Disqualifications resulting from the accumulation of penalty points will not come under this arrangement because of differences in the way the offences are dealt with in both countries. A project is underway to explore ways of including penalty points under this arrangement.