Independent TD Mattie McGrath has welcomed news that the Minister for Justice is set to oppose plans by the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, to introduce a system of speeding penalties that would increase in proportion to how much a motorist was found to be in excess of the designated speed limit. Deputy McGrath was speaking after it was reported that Minister Charlie Flanagan confirmed that he is not in favour of mandatory sanctions because of potential for “unintended consequences”. Minister Flanagan is also reported as saying that he will oppose plans to fine motorists caught without their driving licence:
“When this idea was first flagged by Minister Ross last December, most people with an ounce of common sense could see that it would ultimately prove to be disproportionate and grossly unfair.
Unfortunately, and for some considerable time now, Minister Ross appears to have lost contact with any sense of fairness for the ordinary motorist.
I am happy to see that the Minister for Justice is now set to oppose these proposals. I am also glad to see that the gardai and indeed the judiciary, will be able of maintain an element of discretion when it comes to producing or failing to produce a driving licence.
This was yet another unworkable brain child of Minister Ross that was just far too inflexible and rigid.
What is also important is that we can now avoid a situation arising where the publics relationship with the Gardaí might have been undermined.
If the Gardai were going to be forced to implement these ill-judged fines, then there is no doubt that would have been a very regressive step.
It would not surprise me in the least therefore if the Gardai themselves had made known to the Minister for Justice their dissatisfaction with the proposed speeding and licence penalties,” concluded Deputy McGrath.