Court - Fixed charge loophole escape for no seatbelt

Motoring

Court - Fixed charge loophole escape for no seatbelt

Judge Catherine Staines expressed her hope that new legislation will be introduced in relation to fixed charge penalty notices by June.

She was speaking before striking out a case against Joseph O’Donoghue of 13 Cullenwood, Mountmellick. He appeared before Portlaoise District Court charged with driving with a juvenile passenger who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

The defendant told the judge the passenger was aged three at the time of the alleged offence at Kirwan Park, Mountmellick on July 8, 2015. The boy had been sitting in the back of the car and had managed to undo his own seat belt, he explained.

Judge Staines told the defendant that if a car stops suddenly with an unrestrained child in the back, “they go through the window and are

dead.”

The defendant stated that he hadn’t received any fixed charge penalty notice in relation to the incident. He said post sometimes gets delivered to neighbouring addresses.

“I am going to dismiss it on this occasion,” said Judge Staines but she remarked “hopefully the new legislation will come in and people will be able to pay their fines.”