Penalty points for errant drivers
22 Juin 2011
A penalty point system is being mulled by the government in an effort to curb road accidents.
The Prime Minister Dr Navin Ramgoolam revealed this in his answer to the private notice question put by Opposition leader Paul Berenger.
The PM also informed that the Road Safety Management Unit is working on setting up a Driver Education and Training Centre to improve the competencies of drivers.
“Emphasis is also being laid on the need to review the way people learn to drive,” said Ramgoolam addressing the parliament on Tuesday.
A number of road accidents this year have raised concerns about safety. Even on Tuesday morning, two brothers on a motorcycle were run down by a bus trying to overtake a van at Fond du Sac. The duo has been admitted to a hospital in the north. On Sunday, two pedestrians were mowed down within 30 minutes of each other at Beau Bassin on road crossings.
“Road safety is one of the priorities of the government,” stressed the PM adding that the legal framework is being reviewed to address the issue.
“Amendments to the Road Traffic Act are being worked out for the introduction of a penalty point system under which road traffic offenders will be sanctioned not only by fines but also by penalty points which may lead to disqualification of the licence of a driver,” Ramgoolam said.
In addition to the penalty, a disqualified driver would need to undergo a refresher training through the said Driving Education Training Centre to obtain a new driving licence.
A temporary driving licence scheme is also in the offing. The draft of the bill is being finalised by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure in consultation with the Office of the Attorney-General. The Law Reform Commission is meeting the partners in this context next week.
The session on Tuesday saw the introduction of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill into the National Assembly. The bill includes private medical institutions and health centres in the definition of hospital.
If approved, the police will have access to those premises for breath tests and blood alcohol tests. Over 15 sets of road traffic legislation are currently at different stages of drafting, the PM informed the House.
Meanwhile, a draft Road Traffic (Duties of Pedestrians) Regulations 2011 has been prepared by the Special Road Safety Unit of the PMO.