By DAVID LABANYI
LEARNER PERMIT holders engaging in risky driving will face several new sanctions in court, including the imposition of a mandatory monitored “speed limiter” in their car as well as a strict curfew.
The penalties are being introduced for learner and inexperienced drivers caught speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, or overtaking dangerously, offences currently punished by penalty points. Judges will be able to impose restrictions on repeat offenders that would, in some cases, limit their use of a car to driving lessons.
The measures are part of a reform of driver training and licensing that will be outlined by the Road Safety Authority on Wednesday.
Another expected change is the introduction of compulsory lessons with an approved driving instructor before a young motorist becomes eligible to sit a driving test. The authority and the Garda are confident a combination of automatic number plate-reading technology and , by the end of the year, of a credit card-style driving licence with a chip holding driver information will mean the new sanctions can be successfully enforced.
A nationwide network of privatised speed cameras is also due to start operating this autumn.
Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey has approved the authority’s plans, a number of which will require primary legislation.