A judge who oversees the system that allows for the cancellation of penalty points has said the Government should consider amending legislation that allows gardaí to have points cancelled in certain circumstances.

Judge Mathew Deery said he was "uneasy" about gardaí driving "excessively" fast while bringing a person in custody to a garda station or going to court to attend a consultation.

At present, gardaí can claim an exemption from penalty points if they are driving in the course of their duty and do not pose a danger to the public.

However, Judge Deery said in his annual reports for 2019 and 2020, both of which were published today, that gardaí should also have to explain why it was necessary for them to break the speed limit before points can be cancelled.

The judge, who has been the Sole Independent Oversight Authority for the past six years, reviewed a random sample of the cancellations.

He said he was satisfied with the way the garda's cancelling authority exercised its discretion and that there had been substantial compliance with the policy.

Cancellations, he said, were "few in number" and "supporting documentation was provided where necessary".

However, he also said there was a "substantial" number of Fixed Charge Penalty Notices that were not being served because they were returned "Undelivered-Gone Away" or "Unknown at this Address".

He pointed out that the suspension of the time limit of 28 days in these cases had not yet occurred and that gardaí have to rely on the National Vehicle File from the Department of Transport, which does not always have the information necessary to identify the owner of vehicles.