Expatica news

MPs demand demerit driving licence system

4 February 2004

AMSTERDAM — A majority of MPs haved demanded that Transport Minister Karla Peijs introduce a driving licence based on a points demerit system and if she refuses, main opposition party Labour PvdA intends to lodge its own legislative proposal.

Germany and Italy already have a demerit-based driving licence in which motorists are docked points for each breach of regulations, such as speeding or causing an accident. Those who lose too many points, forfeit their licence.
But Minister Peijs is sceptical that such a system will improve road safety and is thus opposed to the proposal. She also thinks a demerit system would cause too many administrative hassles, an NOS news report said.

Of note is that the Christian Democrat CDA minister’s stance is at odds with the wishes of her own party. Moreover, the PvdA, Democrat D66, Socialist Party (SP) and populist LPF are also in favour of demerit-based licence, representing a parliamentary majority.

PvdA MP Dijksma dismissed the minister’s concerns and reminded her that Germany has had a demerit-based licence for years. “They don’t have that for nothing,” she said.

Dijksma believes that the demerit system will help crackdown on notorious bad  motorists. She claimed that many people simply expect to be fined and that it was time to say enough is enough.

But Dijksma is prepared to give Peijs a chance to voluntarily agree on a demerit licence, but if the minister continues to refuse, she warned that the PvdA will lodge a legislative proposal in the Lower House of Parliament, the Tweede Kamer.

The MP is confident she can develop the legislation in co-operation with the CDA, representing a parliamentary majority. Dijksma will also meet with German authorities to discuss their experiences.

The PvdA demand comes after the CDA and PvdA together backed a proposal forcing motorists who are convicted twice of drink driving — and thus temporarily lose their licence — to complete a driving test before being allowed back on the road.

Amid continued calls to improve road safety across the nation, the proposal also attracted support from the chairman of traffic organisation 3VO, Jaap van der Doef, who said it was “music to the ears”. He also said 1 percent of motorists cause 80 percent of the Netherlands’ drink driving problems.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news