Any person found to be in breach of the Road Traffic Act can receive a range of reprimands: penalty points, fines or potentially a prison sentence. Penalty points have been in operation in Ireland since 2002. Their objective is to improve drivers behaviour and make the roads safer. Over the past number of years they have been expanded to cover a broad range of offences, 48 in total. If any driver accumulates 12 points within a 36 month period, they will be disqualified from driving for 6 months. Learner and Novice drivers will only be allowed to accumulate 6 points before being disqualified. Unlike the old endorsements the points do not actually appear on your licence, but are instead added to your licence record. The same would be the case for fines and convictions relating to driving offences.

 

Full list of changes to Penalty Points as of 8 December 2014

 

  1. Changes to Existing Penalty Point Offences
General Description of Offence

 

Current Position Change
Penalty
Points on Payment of Fixed Charge
Penalty Points
on Conviction
 
Penalty Points on Payment of Fixed Charge Penalty Points
on Conviction
Using vehicle without test certificate Direct Summons to Court 5 3 5
No Change
 
Parking vehicle in dangerous position Direct Summons to Court 5 3 5
No Change
 
Failure to drive vehicle on left 1 3 2 4
Dangerous overtaking 2 5 3 5
No Change
Contravention of prohibition of driving vehicle along or across median strip 1 3 2 4
Failure to stop vehicle before stop sign or stop line 2 4 3 5
Failure of vehicle to yield right of way at a yield sign or yield line 2 4 3 5
Failure of vehicle to comply with mandatory traffic signs at junctions 1 3 2 4
Crossing of white lines by vehicle 2 4 3 5
Failure by vehicle to obey traffic lights or to halt at traffic sign adjacent to such lights 2 5 3 5
No Change
 
Contravention of general speed restriction for vehicles 2 4 3 5

 

  1. New Offences –

 
(i) Existing Offences Not Previously Commenced

Using vehicle not equipped with a speed limitation device or using a vehicle equipped with a speed limitation device not complying with requirements specified in Regulations 2 4 3 5
Learner permit holder driving unaccompanied by qualified person 1 3 2 4

 
 
(ii) New Penalty Points Offences

General Description of Offence
 
Penalty
Points on Payment of Fixed Charge
Penalty Points
on Conviction
 
Failure to display N Plate or tabard 2 4
Contravention of ban on U-turns 2 4
Failure to display L-Plate or tabard 2 4
Contravention of rules for use of mini roundabouts 1 3
Proceeding beyond no entry to vehicles sign 1 3
Proceeding beyond maximum vehicle length sign where length exceeds maximum displayed 1 3
Proceeding beyond maximum vehicle width sign where width exceeds maximum displayed 1 3
Proceeding beyond maximum design gross vehicle weight (safety) sign where design gross vehicle weight exceeds maximum displayed 1 3
Proceeding beyond maximum vehicle axle loading weight sign where vehicle axle loading weight exceeds maximum specified 1 3
Proceeding beyond a traffic lane control sign other than in accordance with such sign or without yielding 1 3
Using vehicle in a public place without an authorisation plate 3 5
Using vehicle in a public place that has been modified or altered such that authorisation plate is inaccurate 3 5

Also, since 2010, Ireland and the UK have had a mutual recognition of driving disqualifications and certain other offences. Plans are underway to include penalty points in this arrangement.

A full list of offences can be found here.