Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

All-island recognition of driving bans comes into effect

New legislation that came into effect last week means driving bans are now recognized on both sides of the border, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the motorist has been disqualified.

The move is the implementation of a road safety agreement between the British and Irish governments, signed in 2015, and which became law on August 1st.

Motorists who have been banned from driving on the other side of the border from where they live will now also be automatically disqualified in their home jurisdiction.

The Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice in Northern Ireland, Brendan McGuigan said the move will help improve road safety: “I welcome the announcement that motorists who choose to flout the laws of the road and commit offences that lead to their prosecution and disqualification in Northern Ireland or another part of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, will have their driving bans recognised in either jurisdiction.

“Motorists who choose to drive recklessly or a manner which creates a danger and places other road users at risk cannot be tolerated.”

Irish Transport Minister Shane Ross said the new law is aimed at targeting dangerous drivers on the roads.

“The disqualifications relate to drivers disqualified for reckless or dangerous driving, hit-and-run driving, and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” he said.

“Mutual recognition of driving disqualifications is an important road safety measure for both Ireland and the UK.  Maintaining the common travel area and our economic links with the UK are important priorities for Ireland, and this agreement will make a contribution towards that objective, as well as making an important contribution to road safety,” Mr Ross added.