Some 263 farmers were issued with penalty points in 2020 while they were driving a tractor, the Irish Farmers Journal can reveal.

The most common offence was driving a vehicle while holding a mobile phone, which attracts three penalty points and a fine of €60 if paid within 28 days of the offence, figures from the Department of Transport show.

Some 197 farmers received penalty points for this offence, with farmers in Cork the worst offenders with 25.

It was followed by Wexford (24), Galway (15) and Tipperary (15).

Twenty-one farmers received penalty points this year for having a bald/not maintained tyre and four received penalty points for having a tyre with the ply/cord exposed.

Reasonable consideration

Twenty farmers were penalised for “driving without reasonable consideration”. This attracts two penalty points and a fine of €80 within 28 days of the offence.

In 2020, two farmers received penalty points for driving with no insurance. On conviction, this attracts five penalty points and a court fine.

Two tractor drivers had penalty points applied to their licence this year for not displaying an N-plate (novice driver) or L-plate (learner driver). Failing to display either of these plates results in a two penalty points being applied to the licence.

Two farmers failed to comply with traffic signs or lights and received penalty points this year.

Between 2015 and 2019, almost 1,000 farmers received penalty points while driving tractors, with 698 of these farmers receiving penalty points for driving while holding a mobile phone.

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