400 learner and novice drivers in Cork fined this year

400 learner and novice drivers in Cork fined this year

ALMOST 400 learner and novice drivers have been fined a total of €33,000 in Cork city and county so far this year.

The figures have been provided to The Echo by An Garda Síochána through the Freedom of Information Act.

The Cork City garda division had the highest number, with 156 people fined for learner-driver and novice-driver offences.

Last month, The Echo revealed that 3,700 detections of unaccompanied learner drivers had been made across the country since the start of the year. Close to 1,200 vehicles were seized under the Clancy Amendment in the same period.

Since December, 2018, gardaí have the power to seize vehicles driven by unaccompanied learner drivers. The legislation also enables the prosecution of owners who allow their vehicles to be driven by unaccompanied learners.

Before December, 2018, learners could be fined for driving without a driver who has a full licence, but there was no penalty for an owner to allow their vehicle to be driven by an unaccompanied driver.

A learner caught driving unaccompanied receives two penalty points, or four if challenged unsuccessfully in court. There is also a fine of €120.

An owner could face a fine of up to €1,000 and they also have to pay a release fee for their vehicle. The fee is €125 for the first day and €35 for a whole or part of each subsequent day.

The Clancy Amendment was introduced in memory of Kilworth man Noel Clancy’s wife, Geraldine, and daughter, Louise, who were killed in a collision with an unaccompanied learner, Susan Gleeson.

Geraldine was driving Louise to Fermoy to catch a bus to Cork, when the accident happened.

In February, 2017, an inquest found the Clancy women had both died from acute cardio-respiratory failure, due to drowning, following a road-traffic accident.

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