Penalty Points – NCT confusion

Penalty points are used to enforce offences that affect road safety.
If however you are one of approximately four thousand road users that were prosecuted for not having an NCT cert you should pay close attention to this article.     
Prosecution error
There are reports in the media of an internal Garda investigation into the issuance of penalty points for drivers having no valid NCT certificate.  It is reported that some of these drivers who already paid the fine for the offence were prosecuted and the internal garda report has concluded that their licences were wrongly endorsed.
Apparently the Garda Commissioner ordered the internal investigation in June after Garda Management were notified that motorists who had paid fines for not having a valid NCT certificate had later been summoned to court.
Gardaí in every division were directed to withdraw all pending prosecutions for the offence until the problem had been investigated.
Letters to motorists
If you have been affected you should receive communication from an Garda Siochana and if the penalty points were wrongly added to your licence these will be expunged as soon as possible.
This is important as most insurers ask motorists to disclose the number of penalty points that they have attached to their licence.  Motorists who incur endorsements are generally obliged to pay an increased premium.
Tyre pressure
Since April this year anyone caught with defective or worn tyres now faces a fine of €80 and two penalty points.  Any person who contests a charge and is convicted of the offence in Court will receive a fine and four penalty points.
This new law was fast tracked by the Department of Transport after research showed that bald and defective tyres are partially to blame for a number of road accidents over the past five years.
Apparently 71 people have died in the past five years because of bald or defective tyres.  The Department says “this new measure is intended to promote greater awareness among motorists of hazards of driving with tyres that are not in a roadworthy condition”.
Why is tyre safety so important?
Your safety,  along with the safety of your passengers and other road users could depend directly on the condition of your tyres.  Tyres must:

  • Be the right kind and size for your vehicle;
  • Be properly inflated;
  • Be free from defects;
  • Have a thread depth of at least 1.6mm.

It is important to be aware of the hazards of driving with tyres that are not in a roadworthy condition, it reduces road handling, increases braking distance, it can cause aquaplaning and blow outs.