Two-thirds of motorists convicted of speeding offences did not present their licences in court and may not have received penalty points, according to new figures.

Road safety campaigners say the low numbers of licences being recorded means there are repeat offenders who should be disqualified from driving, but who remain on the road.

The figures for the past two-and-a-half years, released by the Courts Service to Dublin Bay North TD Tommy Broughan, show the number of driving licences recorded for those convicted of speeding was 34%.

Between 2017 and May 2019, 12,429 people were convicted of speeding. Just 4,201 of these motorists had their licence recorded for penalty points.

A portion of these motorists would not have Irish licences or would not be in possession of a valid licence.

The figures show that 80% of speeders in Wicklow handed in their licence for record, while the figure for Wexford was 68%.

However, it is a different story in other parts of the country.

The licences of just 13% of drivers in Co Kerry were recorded by the courts for speeding. That is 27 drivers from a total of 208 convicted for speeding.

In Kildare, 196 licences were recorded following the conviction of 1,160 motorists, a rate of just 17%.

The equivalent figure for those convicted of mobile phone offences nationally is higher at 59%.

Road victims' group, PARC, said the data suggested something was "seriously wrong" in the application of the law.

"This shows that nobody is monitoring the situation. The minister is bringing in new speeding laws and he thinks his job is done. The agencies need to work together," said PARC founder Susan Gray.

The campaigner warned that forthcoming, handheld devices for gardaí to check licences, will be operating from an incomplete database.

"If penalty points aren't being collated there will be some people who should be off the road and aren't," she said.

The written summons sent to drivers advises them of the requirement to present a driving licence to court and the Courts Service said driving licence numbers are also recorded by gardaí at the roadside for offences where the vehicle is stopped.

A spokesperson said: "Prosecutions for holding a mobile phone are more likely to be as a result of a member of An Garda Siochána stopping a motorist, which may be the reason why higher numbers of licence numbers are collected in respect of that offence."

The spokesperson added: "The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has the facility in certain instances to look up the National Vehicle Driver File and endorse a driving licence based on exact matching against the offence details."

The department is also developing the licence record project, which will provide a link between vehicle registration numbers and driving licence numbers.

The figures also show the overall conviction rate of those receiving a court summons for a speeding offence was 21%.

The lowest conviction rates were recorded in Co Mayo (7%) and Co Kerry (11%). The highest levels of speeding convictions in the country were Co Louth (30%) and Co Wexford (28%).

Since October 2017, people detected as having committed a road traffic offence have the option of taking advantage of a third chance to pay a fixed charge (fine), rather than coming to court.

The Courts Service said 17,821 availed of the facility since into came into effect.

"This success is the main reason for the reduction in the numbers of road traffic convictions," the statement added.

However, road safety campaigners say there is still a significant cohort of people who do not pay a fine and were not convicted - almost 40,000 between October 2017 and May 2019.

The Road Safety Authority said it is working to put in place measures to address the issue, adding many drivers have foreign licences or may not have a valid Irish licence on which to apply points.

"We are aware of judges putting cases back to later in the day and insisting the defendant go home and bring back a licence before the case proceeds.

"This is time consuming and courts are busy so it doesn't always happen," it said in a statement.

The RSA said it was working with Government departments, the Courts Service and gardaí "to put in place measures to address the issue in the longer term by linking the driver's licence to the vehicle".

However, it warned there may still be cases where no licence exists to apply points regardless of what system is in place.