Belfast Telegraph

An all-Ireland points system is one way of dealing with issue

By Alex Attwood

There is an issue here and one of the ways to deal with it is an all-Ireland points system.

The Transport Minister in the South and myself agreed that following the all-Ireland enforcement of driving bans we would work towards all-Ireland recognition of penalty points in respect of the most serious categories.

Those include careless driving, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt.

This was to ensure those who were guilty of an offence, wherever it may be on the island, it would be recognised across the island. It was recognised as a problem as with so much movement you had people from the south regularly in the north but the points in the South weren't recognised in the North and vice versa.

If you had all-Ireland recognition of penalty points if you got to a certain threshold on the island then you could lose your licence.

That work continues to be taken forward but it's not easy.

There are different points for different offences North and South.

There are also different processes. Some of the processes in the North are administrative. You'll get a letter telling you you've been caught speeding and asking if you want to go on a course or pay the fine. In the South there is more judicial involvement. So there are different approaches, administration and points.

It would be the first time ever in Europe that two jurisdictions would recognise penalty points as opposed to disqualification which does happen between various European states.

  • SDLP MLA Alex Attwood is a former Environment Minister

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