All-Ireland ban warmly welcomed

Driving bans will now be recognised on both sides of the border.
Driving bans will now be recognised on both sides of the border.

Government officials north and south of the border have welcomed mutual recognised of driving disqualifications on both sides of the border.

The move was enacted by the Department for Transport in the UK and the Irish Department for Transport, Tourism and Sport.

The framework for the mutual recognition of driving disqualifications between Ireland and the UK is contained in the Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Driving Disqualifications between Ireland and the United Kingdom, signed on October 30, 2015.

Following the completion of the preparatory work to implement the Agreement, including the passage of the required primary legislation in both jurisdictions, the new laws came into effect on Tuesday of this week.

As a result, Irish drivers (drivers normally resident in Ireland or holding an Irish driving licence) disqualified in the Republic for certain road traffic offences, will have their disqualifications recognised and applied in the North and Britain.

Similarly, UK (GB and NI) drivers disqualified by courts in the U.K will have their disqualifications recognised in the Republic of Ireland.

A spokesperson for the Department for Infrastructure in Northern Ireland said: “DfI can confirm that an agreement was signed between the British and Irish Governments and that the necessary legislation commenced on August 1, to allow for the mutual recognition of driving disqualifications.

“In terms of the cross border penalty points, the position is as follows: Officials North and South continue to work closely to implement the mutual recognition of penalty points on the island of Ireland for speeding, drink driving, not wearing seatbelts and use of mobile phones. These are major causes of road casualties on this island.

“This is complex and ground-breaking work which will require primary legislation in both jurisdictions. Both jurisdictions remain committed to implementing the mutual recognition of penalty points.”

The Republic’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, commented: “The disqualifications relate to drivers disqualified for reckless or dangerous driving, hit and run driving and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“Mutual recognition of driving disqualifications is an important road safety measure for both Ireland and the UK and is one of a series of measures I am introducing which will reduce road injuries and save lives.”