Over 100 lose points within hours of new licence start
3 July 2006, MADRID — More than 100 people are hit by penalities within hours of the new points-based driving licence coming in, traffic authorities said on Monday.
3 July 2006
MADRID — More than 100 people are hit by penalities within hours of the new points-based driving licence coming in, traffic authorities said on Monday.
One 24-year-old from Seville lost all 12 points on his licence when he was caught zig-zagging dangerously in a drunken state.
Four other drivers lost their licences in Catalonia, northeast Spain.
Most lost points because they were caught drink-driving or speeding just hours after the new licence came into action on Saturday.
It was brought in to try to cut the number of fatal accidents which usually reach a peak at this time of year as 4.5 million Spaniards head off on their summer holidays.
The Traffic Authorities said 23 people died on the roads over the weekend - only 2 less than the year before.
But it was hoped the new licence, which started on Saturday, may act as a deterrent.
The licence operates just like similar versions that already exist in Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Luxembourg, where deaths have been cut by up to 40 percent.
Expats from EU countries where these licences exist face losing points on their own licences if they break traffic laws in Spain.
The licence has 12 points which are reduced at different rates for varying offences.
One aspect of the licence which makes it more lenient than the British version is that drink-driving does not carry an immediate ban in Spain.
Instead, offenders caught with between 0.30mg -0.50mg of alcohol or other drugs during a breathalyser test can face the loss of between four and six points.
Speeding – the biggest cause of road deaths in Spain – can result in the loss of up to six points. But the range of penalties depends on local speed limits.
Driving with a mobile carries a penalty of three points. Driving without a seatbelt or riding a motorbike without a helmet carries the same punishment.
New drivers with less than three years experience will only have eight points on their licence. This will rise to 12 points if they go for two years without committing offences.
If drivers lose their licences they must go on a new driving course before they get it back. The new licence will only have eight points.
Fines will range from EUR 90-1,500.
If drivers go for three years without committing any offences, they can add two points to their licences – giving them a total of 14.
And if they go for another three years with a clean licence, they can add another point – giving them the maximum of 15.
During July and August, there are an estimated 90 million journeys made across Spain and towards Portugal, traffic authorities said.
Half of these are made by foreign cars, owned by immigrants or tourists.
Last year, during July and August, 667 people were killed on the roads.
To see more information see the traffic authorities webpage: www.dgt.es
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news