Motorists have been hit with fines totalling more than €130,000 for not paying M50 tolls.
A taxi driver, a milkman and other commercial and private road users were among the 11 cases in which hefty fines ranging from €12,000 to €17,000 were handed down by Judge John Brennan at Dublin District Court today.
None of the defendants attended the hearing or co-operated with the National Roads Authority (NRA), which Judge Brennan described as an aggravating factor.
Each case featured five sample counts and downloaded images were furnished to the court as evidence by NRA official Sarah Kavanagh.
The evidence showed the passage of the offending vehicles on the barrier-free motorway on dates in April, May and June this year, as well as proof of ownership.
On top of the fines Judge Brennan ordered them each to pay €750 in prosecution costs.
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The judge said that the fines must be paid within six months. Two cases were adjourned and two other motorists had their prosecutions withdrawn or struck out.
The standard M50 toll for an unregistered private car is €3.10 and must be paid before 8pm the following day or else there is a €3 penalty for having missed the deadline.
Motorists have 14 days from the date of issue to pay for the journey and the initial penalty, otherwise a further penalty of €41 is applied.
After a further 56 days there is an additional penalty charge of €103 and if it remains unpaid, legal proceedings follow with the possibility of a court fine of up to €5,000, as well as a jail term of six months, or both, per offence.
The registered owner of a vehicle is responsible even if they were not driving the vehicle at the time.