British, Irish and Northern Ireland Ministers have agreed a groundbreaking agreement to keep drivers disqualified for serious motoring offences off the roads.
As a result of the new law, UK drivers disqualified in Ireland will no longer escape punishment when they return home. Similarly, disqualifications earned by Irish drivers while in the UK will be recognised and enforced when they return to Ireland.
The new law is the first step towards implementation of the 1998 European Convention on driving disqualifications, pursuant to which each EU member state must recognise another's driving disqualifications.
The offences recognised under the Convention include: reckless or dangerous driving; hit-and-run driving; driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs; speeding; and driving whilst disqualified.
Road Safety Minister Paul Clark said:
"We've cut the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads by 40% since the mid-1990s - that's more than 19,000 fewer deaths or serious injuries in a year and means we now have some of the safest roads in the world.
"But we need to continue to work to make our roads even safer and if a UK driver commits a serious offence while in Ireland it is right that their ban should still apply when they return home.
"From today this new law will ensure that disqualified drivers are not able to escape their punishment and so keep dangerous drivers off the roads."
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