20 LEARNER DRIVERS BREAK LAW EVERY DAY; Rules of Road Set to Get Tougher

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHELLE O'KEEFFE

MORE than 20 learner drivers a day are caught breaking the law, figures revealed yesterday.

A total of 16,132 provisional licence motorists have been nabbed by gardai for driving without supervision or not displaying L-plates since new laws were introduced in July 2008.

The tough regulations banned L-drivers from taking to the road without a full licenceholder beside them.

Road Safety Authority chief Noel Brett said he was disheartened by the figures and urged parents to take a more active role.

He added: "The reality is the drivers who are most at risk of killing or being killed on our roads are those who hold learner permits and those in their first three years after passing their driving test.

"It's not whether you have a licence, it's to do with experience and confidence.

"I am disappointed the gardai have to summon that many people. I would appeal to parents to become more involved in teaching and supervising their young person's driving. They should not tolerate a situation where cars are made available or insurance is made available.

"It is the most inexperienced drivers who disproportionately feature in death and injury collisions, not just in Ireland but internationally."

In the period since the laws were introduced up to the end of June this year, a total of 8,413 learner drivers have been issued with summonses for driving unaccompanied.

A further 7,719 have been brought before the courts for failing to display L-plates, data released to the Irish Examiner showed.

Drivers convicted of either offence face fines of up to EUR2,000 and/or three months' imprisonment.

The Road Safety Authority will next month announce details of a long-awaited Graduated Licensing System. …