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A New Tax On Tipperary Motorists

tyreNew rules, sanctioned by the Department of Transport, for motorists found driving with defective or worn car tyres; come into force today.

While it was already an offence to drive any vehicle with defective or worn tyres, motorists will now in future be fined €80 and receive two penalty points for having bald tyres.

People who end up in court convicted for the same offence will receive an extra two penalty points, (four in total).

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) earlier this month reported that vehicle factors played a role in one in eight fatal collisions between 2008 to 2012, with defective tyres being the most contributing factor. The RSA now advise motorists to have their car tyres checked once a month at their local garage.

The new law has been fast-tracked by ‘squatting’ Fine Gael Transport, Tourism and Sport Minister Mr Paschal Donohoe; after research apparently showed that bald and defective tyres were found partly to blame for a number of road accidents over the past five years.

Imagine the real scenario. A driver is pulled over by Gardai; tyres are checked and found defective; the operating Garda informs the driver of his findings; the driver, in most cases, will be then permitted to drive off happily on to his destination 200 miles away.  A fine of €80 eventually issues; the RSA, responsible for the allocation of Penalty Points, are duly notified and in turn notify the driver of the date his/hers points will come into effect. In the intervening period of this scenario and possibly for several months, the same driver, for one reason or another (possibly financially, due to the severity of the fine imposed), ignores the sound warning given by the Garda, in relation to his tyres.

If Transport Minister Mr Paschal Donohoe had even the slightest interest in improving safety and reducing road traffic incidents, Gardai would have the power to escort the offending driver and his vehicle to the nearest garage and once parked on their forecourt, to confiscate the keys, returnable only when an invoice for new tyres is produced at the relevant Garda station, previously prearranged by the said member of the Garda force.

This new sanction by the Department of Transport for motorists is actually yet another Fine Gael tax gathering scheme, introduced by our ‘squatting’ government to boost its coffers and will have no affect whatsoever in supporting road safety.

It is interesting to note that already the government makes over €1 billion annually on motor taxation and the AA estimates that 91c of the amount paid on one litre of petrol is tax, meaning that the price of the actual fuel only accounts for a small proportion of the total overall cost. In the case of diesel, government taxation accounts for 77c of each litre purchased by the consumer.

We won’t go down the road (pardon the pun) of 30% increases in Motor Insurance, costs associated with National Car Testing (NCT) and nightly damages to vehicles through deliberate and malicious damage.

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