A judge today fined nine motorists a total of €93,000 for repeatedly failing to pay the M50 toll.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) summoned them to Dublin District Court but they did not appear.
Eight faced five charges, mainly for non-payment of tolls for trips made February through July 2021. One faced four charges.
In their absence, Judge Anthony Halpin imposed fines of between €5,000 and €15,000.
He cited their record of unpaid fees and efforts to pay them.
Seven of them were ordinary private car drivers who had to pay €3.10 each time, while the others were van owners who repeatedly avoided paying €4 per trip.
A woman fined €15,000 had 341 unpaid crossings in 18 months.
Another car owner had a record 265 trips in 10 months and no payments.
The court heard that the NTA had sent a pickup truck driver 1,200 warnings for 450 unpaid trips. He was also fined 15,000 euros.
The car owner with the lowest fine had a record of 127 passages, but the court heard he had made five payments and was sent 800 letters.
Another motorist’s car used the highway 102 times between August and December. He paid nothing but was fined €15,000 when the toll caught up with him in court today.
A van owner with four example counts had the highest number of unpaid trips in today’s court cases.
Judge Halpin fined €7,000 after finding he had paid for 118 trips out of 844.
A car owner who failed to record payments for 96 trips was fined €5,000.
Prosecutor Thomas Rice BL said the NTA received certificates detailing the vehicles’ registered owners and pictures of them passing the toll bridge on the M50 on certain dates.
A National Transport Authority witness confirmed the details during the hearing, giving the number of transits and payment history of each motorist.
In addition to the fines, the vehicle owners were ordered to pay 350 euros in prosecution costs within six months.
Fines of up to EUR 5,000 and imprisonment of up to six months can be imposed for each charge.
The court heard that the Highway Authority selected only habitual non-payers for criminal prosecution.
At the time of the violations, the standard M50 toll for a private car was EUR 3.10, which had to be paid by 8 p.m. the following day or a EUR 3 fine had to be imposed if the deadline was missed.
Motorists had 14 days to pay for the trip and the initial fine; Failure to do so would result in an additional penalty of €41. After 56 days there was an additional payment of €103 and if this was not paid the court case followed.
Utility and truck owners pay higher tolls.
The authorized vehicle owner is liable even if he did not drive.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/nine-motorists-hit-with-fines-totalling-93000-for-repeatedly-failing-to-pay-m50-tolls-41471393.html Nine motorists have been fined a total of €93,000 for repeatedly failing to pay the M50 toll