Drink drivers face second licence exam
26 January 2004
AMSTERDAM — A majority of MPs believe that motorists who are convicted twice of drink driving and temporarily lose their licence by order of judge must complete a driving test before being allowed back on the road.
Government party Christian Democrat CDA and main opposition party Labour PvdA are in favour of plans to get tougher on drink drivers. Together they can command a majority with 86 seats in the 150-seat Dutch Parliament.
Labour MP Aleid Wolfsen estimates that 45,000 motorists are caught drink driving each year and is determined to reduce that figure, claiming that present sentencing regulations are not tough enough, an NOS news report said.
Courts can presently impose fines and suspend a motorist’s driving licence, but in reality, motorists rarely lose their licence and Wolfsen is demanding that extreme drink drivers be forced to prove their driving skills again.
Presently, the central driving licence bureau CBR may only force motorists to conduct a second exam in cases where mental health questions have been raised, news agency ANP reported on Monday.
The CDA is backing the PvdA proposal, with MP Sybrand van Haersma Buma saying that it appeared to be a good method to prevent people from drink driving.
Christian Democrat MP Marleen de Pater also said Wolfsen’s plan could be linked up to an earlier-proposed CDA plan to introduce a demerit system for Dutch driving licence’s similar to what is used in Germany.
The system involves docking points from motorists by each breach of regulations, such as driving through a red stop light or causing an accident. Motorists lose their licence and are forced to complete a second exam if they use up all of their points.
Meanwhile, the chairman of traffic organisation 3VO, Jaap van der Doef, also backed Wolfsen’s plan, saying it was “music to the ears”. He said 1 percent of motorists cause 80 percent of drink driving problems on the nation’s roads.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news