There was a 30 per cent increase in the amount of fines paid for learner or novice driver offences last year.

According to freedom of information files, 1.1 million euro worth of penalties were settled in 2018 and 2019.

There was an increase in three of the four Garda Divisions across the region, with Roscommon/Longford the only one to show a decline in the offences.

In the Mayo Division the offence count rose by 37 to 137 in 2019, bringing the total sum of fines issued here to 11, 420 euro.

Galway increases by 30 to 263, Sligo/Leitrim by 4 to 52 and there was a decrease of 18 in Roscommon/Longford, leaving the division on 149 learner or novice offences last year.

50,500 euro was collected in the fines across the region in total, amounting to just 8% of the national total.

Learner drivers must be accompanied by a fully qualified driver at all times and stick to other rules.

If they break them, they face penalty points and fines of up 120 euro.

Newly qualified drivers have to put N plates on their car for two years or get points and fines of up to 90 euro.

In 2018, over 5,600 drivers paid Garda fines for learner or novice driver offences nationally amounting to 464,500 euro. 

This rose by nearly a third last year, with over 7,300 people settling fines worth nearly 607,000.

Stricter laws were passed into law in December 2018, which gave gardai the power to seize cars driven by unaccompanied drivers.

Tipperary road safety campaigner Alec Lee wants the gardai to take tougher action.


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