Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has said he has full confidence in the garda investigation into allegations that penalty points were cancelled for a large number of people, including some prominent public figures.

Mr Varadkar said he did not think there was a need for an independent investigation.

He also said it would be an abuse of Dáil privilege for any TD to name in the Dáil anyone who may have had penalty points cancelled.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has said the investigation will be rigorous and comprehensive.

He said it would be forwarded to the Minister for Justice when completed and it would be up to him to decide whether or not it should be published.

Mr Varadkar was speaking at the launch of the annual Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign.

Figures released from the Road Safety Authority show that 154 people were killed on Irish roads this year.

European figures show that for every person killed, a further eight people were seriously injured.