Repeat offenders are set to be disqualified a judge has warned
MOTORISTS who repeatedly flout the city’s parking laws and who don’t pay the resulting on-the-spot fine may soon be facing automatic driving bans.
Judge Marian O’Leary, who presides over parking prosecutions at Limerick District Court, has said the current situation cannot continue and must be addressed.
At one sitting of the parking court earlier this month she expressed her frustration and directed lawyers representing Limerick City and County Council to compile a list of the worst offenders ahead of the next court.
Almost 100 cases were listed before the court on the day with Judge O’Leary noting that a number of people appeared on the list several times.
The legal proceedings relating to offences which were detected last September and October were initiated against the registered owners of the offending vehicles.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Judge O’Leary. “How often are we seeing people with 10 or 20 prosecutions,” she added.
While nobody was disqualified from driving on the day, Judge O’Leary indicated she is considering disqualifying any future repeat offenders who are prosecuted by the council.
In each of the 97 cases before the court earlier this month a traffic warden gave evidence outlining the date and location of the specific offence as well as confirming details of the offending vehicle. The court was also told a ticket had been issued in the usual way but had not been paid in the prescribed time despite a reminder letter having been sent.
The prosecutions before the court related to motorists who had not paid for on-street parking, who had parked in loading bays or who had parked on double-yellow lines.
Offences relating to cars parked on footpaths and the use of disabled spaces were also before the court.
In the vast majority of cases, the defendant was not in court for the proceedings and no defence or mitigation was put forward.
Fines were imposed in cases where convictions were recorded with the defendant also being ordered to pay the costs and expenses of the local authority.