'Road pirates' face automatic loss of licence

8th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

8 December 2004 , AMSTERDAM — The Dutch government committed itself to a tough approach on road safety on Wednesday, unveiling a proposal in which motorists will lose their licence if they commit two serious road offences within five years.

8 December 2004

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch government committed itself to a tough approach on road safety on Wednesday, unveiling a proposal in which motorists will lose their licence if they commit two serious road offences within five years.

The joint proposal from Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner and Transport Minister Karla Peijs is part of the Cabinet's plan to introduce a points-based driver's licence. The policy memo was sent to various government ministries on Wednesday.

Justice Ministry figures indicate that 40 percent of motorists who commit a serious traffic offence re-offend within five years. Theses offences range from extreme speeding, drink driving or causing a serious accident.

Presently, a judge has the authority to disqualify a motorist from driving, but this is not compulsory. But in future, repeat offenders who come before the courts twice will always be disqualified from driving for a certain period.

And under the government's proposal, if a motorist is disqualified from driving for a year or more, they will then be forced to undergo an exam before being allowed back on the road. Minor traffic offences that often end in a fine will not lead to a disqualification.

Minister Donner said "road pirates" form a great danger to traffic safety, necessitating the new policy shift. He hopes the legislation will serve as a preventative warning for repeat offenders.

Minister Peijs initially opposed the introduction of a points-based licence, but eventually assented to parliamentary demands and unveiled a brief policy proposal in the summer.

She was initially concerned that a points-based licence — in which motorists are docked points for each offence and can thus forfeit their licence if they lose too many points over a certain period — would cause too much administrative hassle.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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