On Thursday, legislation enforcing new and higher penalties for traffic violations in a bid to curb road accidents and deaths come into effect, with fines to increase for a range of violations including not wearing a seatbelt or helmet, using a mobile phone, parking in a spot reserved for disabled persons, among other things.
New penalties and rules
New penalties will be enforced on Thursday, including a €200 fine for drivers without a third-party insurance, €300 for drivers of buses or heavy motor vehicles and trucks without an MOT, €150 for drivers of any other vehicle without an MOT, and €85 for owners of immobilized vehicles.
New rules will also apply for drivers who had their license refused or revoked. These drivers will enter a three-year supervision period, during which they will face stricter penalties and lower limits for specific offenses, such as reduced alcohol limits and increased penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and any combination of the two with driving over the speed limit.
Additionally, vehicles may be impounded if a driver does not have a valid third-party insurance in place, of if they are under the influence of alcohol, or if they refuse to provide a breath sample for an alcohol test.
Existing penalties become stricter
Speed limit violation
Speeders who go up to 30% over the limit will be fined €2/km and will be subject to one penalty point, those who go 50% higher will be fined €3/km and two penalty points, while those who drive at speeds that are 75% higher than the limit will be subject to a fine of €5/km and three penalty points. Those who go over 75% higher than the speed limit will be directly referred to court.
Driving under the influence of alcohol
Penalties for drivers under the influence of alcohol also got stricter. Those caught with a breath-alcohol concentration of 22-35μg / 100ml will receive a fine of €125 and one penalty point, those with a concentration of 36-55μg / 100ml will be fined €250 and three penalty points, those with a concentration of 56-70μg / 100ml will be fined €500 and four penalty points, while those with a concentration higher than 56μg / 100ml will be referred directly to court.
Driving under the influence of illicit drugs
Those caught driving under the influence of drugs are faced with a potential imprisonment not exceeding three years and/or a fine not exceeding €8,000 euro or with the revocation or refusal of their driver’s license for a period not exceeding three years.
Driving without a driver’s license
Drivers with an expired license and those driving in breach of a condition imposed on by the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles will be subject to a fine of €50.
Reckless drivers will be subject to six years imprisonment and/or a fine of €1,500. If reckless drivers cause a destruction of property, they face a year in prison and/or a fine of €3,000, while if personal injuries are sustained reckless drivers will face two years imprisonment and/or a fine of €6,000.
Fleeing the scene of a road crash
If a driver is involved in a hit-and-run that results in death, they are subject to imprisonment for a maximum period of five years and/or a fine not exceeding €15,000 and driving license revocation for a period not exceeding two years from the date of conviction.
If a driver is involved in a hit-and-run that results in personal injury, they face imprisonment for a maximum period of two years and/or fine not exceeding €10,000 and driving license revocation for a period not exceeding two years from the date of conviction.
If a driver is involved in a hit-and-run that results in property damage, they face imprisonment for a maximum period of one month and/or fine not exceeding €3,000 and driving license revocation for a period not exceeding two months from the date of conviction.
Parking illegally on a pavement will be subject to a €100 fine, parking at spots reserved for the disabled will be subject to a €300 fine, drivers parking on the opposite side of the road will face a €100 fine, while parking on a double yellow line will be subject to a €100 fine.
Traffic light violations
Drivers caught in traffic light violations will be subject to a fine of €300.
Doubling of penalties
Certain fines will be doubled.
Those found driving without a seatbelt will be subject to a €150, and in the event that the offence is repeated within three years, the fine shoots up to €300.
Motorcyclists driving without a helmet are subject to a €200 fine, which goes up to €400 if the offence is repeated within three years.
Distract drivers, such as those using a mobile phone, will be fined €150 and if they repeat the offence within three years, they will be fined €300. Drivers distracted by the use of other objects will be fined €85.
Extension of payment deadline for fines over €100
Fines over €100 issued for traffic offences must be paid within 30 days from their date they are issued or the amount is increased by 50%. In case of non-payment after a period of 45 days from the date of issuance, the person liable will be prosecuted.