26 motorists have been fined €379,000 over unpaid M50 tolls – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

26 motorists have been fined €379,000 over unpaid M50 tolls

Twenty-six drivers have been fined €379,000 for missing court and ignoring hundreds of unpaid M50 tolls, including one driver who used the motorway almost 500 times, reports RTE.

Another driver, citing the Magna Carta Hibernia of 1216 and an ancient statute, did not miss his toll.

M50 toll proceedings in Dublin District Court include civil claims and separate cases for drivers with a more significant history of failing to pay road tolls who face high fines and convictions.

Stephen Delaney, of Fatima Place, Kilkenny, appeared in court today and had a civil case brought against him over seven free motorway journeys.

He argued that Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), the state agency responsible for road infrastructure and public transport, had no power to enforce charges, reports RTE.

Thomas Rhys BL, on behalf of TTII, counter-argued that Bunreacht na hÉireann prevented pre-independence legislation from controlling current legislation.

He asked the court to note that road tolls were part of Ireland’s history before independence.

Judge Anthony Halpin rejected Delaney’s claims and said his “esoteric” arguments did not constitute a disregard for the state constitution.

A separate prosecutor’s office names 24 private car owners and two commercial vehicle owners among the drivers fined between €5,000 and €19,000 for failing to appear in court, reports RTE.

The worst record among these cases was that of a driver with 497 unpaid road tolls who was fined €19,000 in his absence.

They were charged with five examples of motorway toll evasion from October to December last year.

TII filed charges against each driver after sending hundreds of warning letters, most of which went unanswered.

Judge Halpin noted the type of vehicles, general delinquency history, payment attempts and failure to pay.

In each case, the court heard evidence detailing the level of cooperation with highway operators and vehicle ownership records, as well as the overall number of unpaid tolls, reports RTE.

26 drivers were also ordered to pay EUR 350 to cover the costs of the proceedings.

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