Fianna Fáil Spokesperson Transport Timmy Dooley has said he is very concerned by the potential for legal challenge to the application of penalty points to the licences for thousands of drivers after a loophole in the law was uncovered.

Deputy Dooley has received a detailed briefing on the issue by Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe.

Fianna Fáil will be supporting emergency legislation when it is brought before the Oireachtas with a view to addressing the problem.

Deputy Dooley commented: “First and foremost this is a road safety issue.  The problem that has arisen in relation to the legislation governing the application of penalty points to drivers’ licences is very serious.  I remain to be convinced that the legislation that Minister Paschal Donohoe has proposed will be capable of standing up to legal challenge.  Notwithstanding our genuine concern we are supportive of the Minister’s efforts to rectify the situation regarding the application of penalty points to driver files between August and early December.

“Road traffic legislation is amongst the most challenged in the courts and this issue relates to over 78,000 drivers.  I believe there is a real chance the legislation as proposed will be challenged and it is not at all certain at the moment that it will stand up to that scrutiny.

“The introduction of penalty points for driving offences in 2002 has helped transform road safety in Ireland and saved thousands of lives.  It is essential that the integrity of the penalty point system is protected and that the law covering this area will stand up to all legal scrutiny.”