Minister to back points-based driving licence
3 March 2004
AMSTERDAM — After earlier objections, Transport Minister Karla Peijs has thrown her weight behind a demerit-based driving licence system, bowing to demands from a parliamentary majority.
But the Christian Democrat CDA minister said a pre-condition would be that the administrative hassles must be kept to a minimum, news agency ANP reported on Wednesday morning.
A demerit-based driving licence system means that motorists will lose points for each breach of regulations and they will temporarily forfeit their licence if they commit too many driving offences.
The Dutch Parliament, led by the CDA and the Labour PvdA, has long been a proponent of the points-based licence, similar to what is used in Germany. Peijs was less enthusiastic, but has since expressed support for the CDA plan.
The plan involves converting the current Dutch paper licences into plastic cards — similar to bank or credit cards — on which the demerit points are recorded electronically.
The Christian Democrats have also proposed that only a limited number of severe offences should be used to penalise motorists. Actions that pose a threat to other road users will result in demerit points.
But the coalition government party also said the present and well-functioning, simple system of fining motorists for small driving offences will not be dismantled.
Offences under consideration for the demerit system are drink driving, running a red light, severe speeding limit breaches, tailgating or failing to stop after an accident. For every offence motorists commit, they will be given an equal amount of penalty points.
Three or four offences will result in temporary loss of a driving licence and proponents of the scheme CDA MP Marleen de Pater and PvdA MP Sharon Dijksma have proposed that motorists should engage in a driving course throughout the period of their suspension.
And now that the bureaucratic hassle of the new system appears to be less of a concern than thought, Minister Peijs is expected to officially back the licence when the Lower House of Parliament, the Tweede Kamer, discusses the matter next week.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news