Changes to the Fixed Charged Penalty Regime
Some important changes to the way that Fixed Charge Penalty Notice (FCPN) offences are dealt with was brought into effect by section 27 of the Road Traffic Act, 2016. Under the previous regime a motorist has two chances to pay a FCPN. If they paid within 28 days then a minimum fine applied. The fine then increased and needed to be paid within 56 days. If the fine was not paid within the 56 days, then a summons would issue require the motorist’s attendance in Court where much higher penalties could be imposed. Most importantly the number of penalty points increased and the Courts have no discretion when it comes to the implementation of penalty points.
Section 27 creates a new layer in the process. If the fine is not paid within 56 days, a summons will issue as normal. However, the summons will now also allow the motorist to pay an increased fine of double the original penalty and avoid a court appearance. Crucially, the number of penalty points remains the same. The fine must be paid 7 days before the Court appearance.
This is a very significant change to the FCPN system and summonses are only now coming before the Courts.
If you have received a summons and require legal advice, please contact one of our expert team of solicitors on (01) 873 1366 or email [email protected]