Written answers

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Road Traffic Offences

Photo of Peter BurkePeter Burke (Longford-Westmeath, Fine Gael)
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30. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if consideration will be given to the inclusion of penalty points for those that park on footpaths and block access for pedestrians and wheelchair users; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23448/21]

Photo of Hildegarde NaughtonHildegarde Naughton (Galway West, Fine Gael)
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Parking on a footpath and parking in designated bus and cycle lanes is illegal under the current Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking Regulations), as amended, and carries a fixed charge of €40, rising to €60 if not paid within 28 days.

Section 41 of the Road Traffic Act 2010 grants powers to the Minister for Transport to make regulations prescribing different amounts for fixed charge notice offences. The Department keeps these charges under constant review and can intervene to impose increases where it is deemed appropriate.

To prescribe an offence as one attracting penalty points would involve primary legislation. The offence of parking dangerously is already a penalty point offence, and an Garda Siochana may opt to use this offence to penalise drivers who have parked in such a way as to cause a danger to other road users, including pedestrians, wheelchair users, the elderly and children, including by forcing them to walk out onto the road to get around the vehicle. This reflects the general principle of applying penalty points only to those offences which directly cause a danger to road users.

While my Department is open to the possibility of introducing increases in fines for other parking offences, such changes will require engagement both with An Garda Síochána and with the local authorities so as to ensure fairness and proportionality and to take into account issues of implementation and enforcement.


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