Few motorists convicted for driving with no licence
Posted on 12th April 2021 at 21:01
Monaghan and Cavan have lowest conviction rates at 4 and 5% respectively
Four out of every five motorists taken to court for driving without a licence escape conviction, data spanning 2½ years shows.
Monaghan and Cavan have the lowest conviction rates at 4 and 5 per cent respectively, although the national average is 19 per cent.
Parc, the road safety campaign group that compiled the data, says it is particularly concerned that disqualified drivers are prosecuted for the same offence of driving without a licence, rendering it difficult to separate out how often they are caught on the roads.
It has called on the Garda to release specific data on disqualified drivers. It also wants greater clarity on why broader conviction rates appear so low.
“What the figures show us is that it really is a waste of Garda time and court time, not to mention the tax-payers’ money, bringing these people to court when the conviction rate is as low as 4 per cent,” said Parc campaigner Aisling Reid. “There is something wrong there and we don’t know what it is.”
The data looks at the number of drivers through 2018, 2019 and half of 2020 who were brought to court, how many were subsequently convicted as opposed to having their cases either struck out or dismissed, and how many received fines.
While most courts had conviction rates well below 50 per cent, many are under 10 per cent. Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan had just a 3 per cent conviction rate (eight of 319 drivers over the 2½ years); Cavan Town 4 per cent (18 of 506); Waterford city, 5 per cent (50 of 1,068); and Buncrana, Co Donegal and Virginia, Co Cavan, each at 6 per cent (7 of 117, and 22 of 344 respectively).
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