Road Toll FAQ's
What exactly will happen if I evade a parking fine or toll charge in Northern Ireland?
You have 28 days in which to pay the fine. After this period has elapsed, your details will be forwarded to the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland who will pursue you for the fine.
Is it the same for NI motorists who fail to pay parking fines and commit tolling offences in the Republic?
Yes. The Driver and Vehicle Agency in NI will forward your details to the NRA (for tolls) and the local authority (for parking offences) who can then pursue motorists from NI in the same way as they currently do here.
What happens if I just refuse to pay the fine?
Refusing to pay a fine is an offence. The authorities in Northern Ireland will now have your details and they could pursue you through the courts system in Ireland. (Note- they can do this already- now they actually have the information to carry it through)
What about vehicles from other countries? Say, Poland or France, or Germany? Are they subject to the same rules about parking and tolling?
The NRA has separate arrangements in place to pursue these motorists. They use the service of a specialist parking/tolling enforcement agency.
What about UK drivers?
The UK Department for Transport and their Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency based in Swansea, have been actively involved in the work that has gone on behind the scenes to make this project a reality. They are monitoring how well the project goes and depending on the results, could join in the data exchange at a future date.
How many non-Irish registered vehicles pass through….for example the M50 barrier-free toll each day?
About 3% of all vehicles using the M50 barrier-free tolling on a daily basis are non-Irish (majority from Northern Ireland) - an average of 1,800 vehicle trips each day. About 50% of them already fully comply with paying tolls.
Is the cross-border initiative between the Republic and NI part of an EU-wide initiative? If I’m travelling anywhere in the EU will my vehicle registration details be exchanged with the authorities in the other country?
No. While this kind of information exchange already happens in some parts of Europe, not all countries exchange vehicle and licensing information between them. Remember that anyone who is driving in another jurisdiction is legally obliged to comply with road traffic laws in that country. This includes complying with local parking and tolling arrangements.
I’m concerned about my vehicle and driver details being passed to another country.
Data security and privacy are sensitive issues. This is one reason why work on this Pilot Scheme has taken longer than anticipated. However, the data will be exchanged electronically using very high levels of security to provide acceptable levels of assurance that the whole data transfer process is secure and protected. The use to which this data is put to once received will also be monitored by each jurisdiction via an agreed audit regime; the details of which are set down in a detailed Service Level Agreement (SLA).
Does this mean that penalty points will be recognised in other EU states?
No. The penalty points system is distinct and separate. Work continues at EU level to introduce a system of recognition for penalty point offences, but this remains some time off yet.
Where is my information being stored?
The relevant rules and the laws regarding data privacy and personal data will be fully complied within both jurisdictions. The Data Protection Commissioner has been consulted and is satisfied that all is in order. Separately, the use of this data will be monitored in each jurisdiction by an agreed audit regime.
How Does the System Work?
When crossing the Liffey on the Westlink toll bridge you will drive under a gantry with an array of cameras. These will take a photo and send it on for processing if no (or a non-matching) tag is recognized. For untagged but pre-registered vehicles a debit process will then be started. All other road users will be kept in the system until the toll is paid - via the website, by phoning a call center or by using "billpay" services. If the toll is not paid in time, expect hefty additional costs.
Why should I Not Pay as I go?
It will cost you - and you are likely to forget paying in time which may lead to additional costs and even legal proceedings. As to privacy ... your numberplate will be registered anyway.