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Penalty points for drivers?

Introduce the system of penalty points for Indian drivers by 2015, the Motor Vehicle Act review committee has stated in their suggestions to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH).

mumbai Updated: Oct 18, 2011 02:02 IST
Nilesh Nikade

Introduce the system of penalty points for Indian drivers by 2015, the Motor Vehicle Act review committee has stated in their suggestions to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH).

If implemented, the drivers will get penalty points for every traffic violation they commit and will lose their driving licence after they reach the maximum permissible limit. The committee believes that the system would help in reducing the number of road accidents.

Currently, the demerit point system for drivers is in practice in Europe, Australia, United States of America, Canada, China, Singapore and Malaysia.

The recommendations state that the licencing authorities should award penalty points corresponding to the traffic offence committed by the driver. For offences that involve judicial proceedings and imprisonment, the court shall award penalty points in addition to the fine or imprisonment.

The points shall remain on record for three years from the date of award and at any point, if the cumulative total of the penalty points accrued by a driver crosses 12, the driving licence would be suspended for one year.

If a driver gets 12 points for the second time in a row, the suspension of the driving licence will be extended to five years. For a person with learner’s licence, four points should be enough to attract cancellation of licence, the panel suggested.

An officer from the state regional transport office said: “Maintenance of records of demerit points would be a tough task. It would be feasible only after all the driving licences are converted into smart cards.”