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Fines for speeding, using phone while driving and not wearing a seatbelt set to double

DUBLIN: Fines for speeding, using a phone while driving and not wearing a seat belt will be doubled in Ireland. The fine for speeding will increase from €80 to €160 and the fine for using a phone or not wearing a seatbelt will also double from €60 to €120.

This comes after the Road Safety Authority (RSA) said the current fines were not acting as a deterrent. “What we were finding was that they weren’t sufficiently a deterrent and that at the 80 and 60 euro level, they weren’t acting sufficiently as a deterrent,” said RSA Chairperson Liz O’Donnell.

She said the increase was due to the conviction that existing penalties were not enough to deter people from speeding. “They have to have to hurt people in the pocket to be meaningful,” O’Donnell said.

Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton said these road traffic offences put drivers, pedestrians and cyclists at risk.  “Increasing fines for these offences will act as a stronger deterrent to those who break our lifesaving rules of the road,” the Minister said.

The changes to fines were announced at the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and Garda mid-summer road safety appeal.

There has been a 42% increase in road deaths so far this year, with 94 deaths and 673 serious injuries in 2022 to date. August 2021 was the worst month for road accidents in a decade, with 22 deaths, the RSA said.

“We are approaching August which is typically a very busy time of the year on our roads and as such a high-risk period. We need to act now to stem” the increase in number of deaths, Minister Naughton said.

The RSA is planning to launch a new campaign to highlight the so-called speed fallacy, where drivers believe speeding will save them time on journeys.

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