Fleet News

Driving bans recognised in both Britain and Ireland

A new deal to keep disqualified drivers off the roads has been agreed between the British and Irish governments.

The agreement - the first of its kind in Europe - means that British drivers disqualified for an offence in Ireland will be banned from driving when they return home.

Likewise, any disqualification earned by Irish drivers in the UK will be recognised and enforced when they return to Ireland.

The new rules will come into force in spring 2009 but will only apply to offences that attract an outright ban, rather than ones that ‘top’ a driver over.

"If a UK driver commits a serious offence like dangerous driving while in Ireland their ban should still apply when they return home,” said Jim Fitzpatrick, British road safety minister.

"This pioneering agreement will make our roads safer by ensuring disqualified drivers are not able to escape their punishment and so keep dangerous drivers off our roads."

However, there will still be no recognition of penalty points between Ireland and Britain.

A Department for Transport spokesman said that the mutual recognition of penalty points between the UK and Ireland has been investigated.

However, as Ireland has a different points system, such recognition would require primary legislation by the British legislature.

The move marks the first time any EU countries have acted to implement the international convention on driving disqualification, which ensures that drivers disqualified from driving in a an EU country other than their normal place of residence should not, on their return home, escape the consequences of that disqualification.

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