Drivers of motor vehicles in “The Kingdom”, who have been detected speeding throughout Kerry county, are walking away from local courts without any conviction because of an apparent flaw in the Garda Central Processing Unit in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, which has responsibility for the issuing of “Fixed Penalty Notices”.
Already this year, at numerous court sittings in Kerry, hundreds of defendants, dressed sackcloth and ashes who tearfully admit their motor speeding transgressions and plead guilty, have had their charges dismissed when they gave sworn evidence, stating that they never receiving notification of any fine imposed. The fact that so many penalty notices now appear to go undelivered on a weekly basis in Kerry, is a source of great concern among Kerry Gardaí, who attempt each day to publicly promote driver responsibility and greater road safety/awareness.
Normally, in this green and pleasant land, when a vehicle and driver are stopped for alleged speeding by Irish Police, their details are entered into what is known as a Fixed Charge Penalty System or FCPS. These details are then forwarded to the Garda Central Processing Unit in Thurles, which mails the offending motorist a well deserved Penalty Notice via our national postal service, An Post. Motorists are then given 28 days to respond to this notice. If the fine is not paid or a notice to appeal is not received within the required time limit, the penalty is increased and a further period of 28 days is given in which to make this payment. If no payment is received within 56 days, a court summons is issued to the offender.
In Kerry hundreds of defendants are turning up in local courts and giving sworn evidence of never having receiving such notices from Thurles, and it appears the presiding Judge is obliged to strike out the offence thus allowing drivers to escape conviction and the accompanying mandatory penalty points.
Let me see if I correctly understand this situation. You admit to a Court of law that you were speeding, thus endangering human life – not to mention breaking the law, but because you did not get an invoice, you avoid conviction and mandatory penalty points endorsed on your Driving Licence.
Does this administration of law appear reasonable just to you?