Nearly half of motorists who speed on Laois roads avoid court for speeding

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

penalty points

Motorists avoid stiff court sanction for speeding

Almost half of drivers caught speeding on roads and motorways in Laois escaped penalty points and fines because they were not served summons to appear before Portlaoise District Court.

Data released to Tommy Broughan TD shows that 48.9% of court summonses were not served on motorists who failed to pay the fixed charge €80 fines for breaking the limit.

Of the 1,516 summonses, 742 were successfully served between January 2017 and May 2019. This meant that hundreds of Garda prosecutions against speeding motorists caught by Gardaí and speed vans were struck out when they eventually came before the District Court in Laois.

The Laois figure is above the national average which shows that 45.7% of the 61,059 speeding offences due to come before the courts were never served.

Laois and Offaly is part of the same Garda Division. However, Laois is marked by the presence of the M7 and M8 motorways through the county which substantially increases traffic. This could contribute many people who live outside the county being caught.

Just 507 summonses were served in Offaly with 43.2% struck out.

Across Leinster outside Dublin, Kildare had both the highest number of summonses served and rate of strike outs. Of the 5,318 speeding cases that were due to come before the courts, 49% were struck out by judges.

Monaghan had the worst rate of strike outs. Of the 1,212 summonses, 61% were never served.

A motorist can get three penalty points on a driving licence or be fined between €80 or €120. If the fine is not paid with in a certain timeframe a driver will be summonsed to court where five penality points can be imposed on top of a court conviction.