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Penalty Points System: Deadline for Collecting Driving Licence Counterpart Extended to 28 March 2013

Date: March 22, 2013
Domain:Law and Order
Persona: Citizen; Government
 

GIS – 22 March 2013: The deadline for the collection of the Driving Licence Counterpart (DLC) by Mauritian drivers, has been extended to Thursday 28 March 2013, as confirmed by Inspector Bijaye Rambhursy of the Traffic Branch, Line Barracks. The reason is that only 354,892 licence holders, including those in Rodrigues, have collected their DLC as at yesterday afternoon.
 
According to the authorities, there are several reasons why approximately 300,000 licence holders have yet to collect their DLC. These are mainly due to the following: many licence holders are elderly persons and have thus stopped driving; others, mainly students are studying abroad, and could not return to collect the DLC; still, others, especially learners, were apparently unaware of the need to collect the document, while some drivers said they were too busy and had no time to collect it, while others simply “forgot” to do so.
 
It must be stressed that for those studying or working abroad who are unable to make it to Mauritius anytime soon, provisions will be made for them exceptionally to collect their DLC upon their return. However, they must produce documentary evidence to the effect that they were either studying or working abroad.
 
Zero Point Zero Traka
 
The Penalty Points System (PPS), introduced with the adoption of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill last year, will imminently be implemented by the authorities. As soon as the law is proclaimed, it will be an offence if a driving licence holder does not have both the driving licence and its counterpart in possession. Both documents henceforth constitute the driving licence.The distribution of the DLC was effected through 21 police stations in Mauritius and 2 police stations in Rodrigues, between 21 January and 21 March 2013. The authorities have adopted the slogan “Zero Point Zero Traka” to sensitise more effectively motorists and licence holders on the new system.
 
The operation of a PPS is meant to deter the commission of road traffic offences by assigning penalty points on conviction for certain road traffic offences. With the introduction of the PPS, drivers failing to observe the road codes will be severely reprimanded.
 
As per the new legislation, the DLC has to be annexed to the licence. It is in the form of a paper where information such as penalty points, date of offence, fine amount, disqualification period, date of expiry of penalty points, offence code, etc., are inscribed. Moreover, the Traffic Branch has, in the wake of the coming into operation of the PPS, set up a new computerised system that will contain and update all relevant details pertaining to drivers’ licence and the eventual sanctions they will receive from courts.
 
With the PPS, the aim of drivers is to have a minimum number of points on their DLC. The driver initially starts with zero number of points on the DLC. Upon conviction for an offence, the court will, in addition to regular sanction (e.g. payment of fixed penalty), sanction the offender with penalty points within the range of points attributed to the offence. The range of points provided varies from 2 to 10 in relation to the severity of the offence. Penalty points allocated for each offence will be effective for 36 months as from the date of conviction. The penalty points will be entered on the DLC.
 
For a provisional driving licence holder, the maximum number of points is 10, exceeding which the driver will be disqualified from driving any motor vehicle in Mauritius. For a competent driving licence holder, the maximum number of points is 15, exceeding which the driver will be disqualified. The disqualification period is not less than 6 months. After the disqualification period, all penalty points accumulated for the disqualification will be ineffective. However, on a second disqualification, the driving licence will be cancelled for good. Fixed Penalty Notice and the Photographic Enforcement Device Notice are also included in the PPS. Upon settlement of the fine, the lower point of the range of points attributed to the offence will be allocated.
 
Thus, penalty points will be assigned to certain road traffic offences, including the following:(a) failing to wear securely a prescribed protective helmet while riding a motorcycle or an autocycle;(b) neglecting or refusing to comply with traffic directions given by a police officer;(c) using a hand held or hand-free microphone or telephone handset whilst driving a motor vehicle;(d) using a vehicle on a road without prescribed lights during hours of darkness; and(e) exceeding speed limit.
 
Effective for 3 years
 
Penalty points attributed to an offence will remain effective for a period of three years. The PPS may cause a driver to have his driving licence suspended for at least six months if he has exceeded the threshold limit of 15 penalty points. On a second disqualification, the driving licence will be cancelled. Under the proposed Mauritian system, the counter will start at zero, and points will be totalled cumulatively for each and every offence.Penalty pointswill be imposed by the Court, in addition to other sanctions such as monetary fines, and used especially to tackle the most dangerous safety related road traffic offences committed by drivers.
 
The system is expected to instill a greater sense of responsibility in motorists and make our road safer. The PPS is in line with government’s strategy to increase road safety and to comply with international norms and subsequently reduce casualties on roads. The authorities are of the view that the PPS will trigger the right mindset among drivers so that they become more cautious and diligent. Government is determined to take bold and severe actions against those defaulters who have no respect for human life.
 
Success abroad
 
The PPS is a system which has successfully been implemented in many countries across the world such as the United States of America, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and several European countries. In most jurisdictions, the introduction of the PPS has led to a significant reduction in road accidents casualties and fatalities, when there is an effective traffic monitoring system.
 
In Italy, for instance, it was estimated that the introduction 10 years ago of a PPS for driving offences had led to a reduction of about 10% of road accidents and of about 25% of traffic fatalities. In Spain, an assessment of the effectiveness of the PPS in reducing traffic injuries, has shown that it was associated with reduced numbers of drivers involved in injury collisions and people injured by traffic collisions.
 
 
OFFENCES – PENALTYPOINTS – OFFENCECODE
 
1.  Failing to wear securely a prescribed protective helmet while riding a motorcycle or auto cycle – section 123N(3)(a) and (5) 2-4 HELM01
 
2.  Failing to give way when coming out of a less important road (including any private road or any place) onto a more important road or on to a main road – regulation 40(10) of the Road TrafficRegulations 1954 3-6 FWAY01
 
3.  Failing to stop and remain at the scene of an accident when involved in the accident – section 140(1)(a),(5) and (7) 4-8 STOP01
 
4.  Neglecting or refusing to comply with traffic directions given by a police officer – section 123AD(1) and (3) 2-4 POLD01
 
5.  Using a hand-held microphone or telephone handset whilst driving – section 123AE 2-4 PHON01
 
6.  Using a vehicle on a road without prescribed lights during hours of darkness – regulation 103(1) of the Road Traffic (Construction and Use of Vehicles) Regulations 2010 3-6 LAMP01
 
7.  Load insecurely fastened and falling, or liable to fall, from a vehicle, or projecting from the vehicle – regulations 4(2) and 55 of the Road Traffic (Construction and Use of Motor Vehicles) Regulations 2010 and section 123V(1) and (3) 3-6 LOAD01
 
8.  Failing to allow free and interrupted passage to a pedestrian using the crossing – regulation 3(b) of the Road Traffic (Pedestrian Crossings) Regulations 2002 4-6 CROS01
 
9.  Overtaking or passing a vehicle which has stopped at a pedestrian crossing – regulation 4 of the Road Traffic (Pedestrian Crossings) Regulations 2002 4-6 OVCR01
 
10. Exceeding speed limit (by less than 25 kilometres per hour) – regulations 3 and 4 of the Road Traffic (Speed) regulations 2011 and sections 124(1) and (4) 2-4 SPED01
 
11. Exceeding speed limit (by 25 kilometres per hour or more, but less than 50 kilometres per hour) – regulations 3 and 4 of the Road Traffic (Speed) Regulations 2011 and sections 124(1) and (4) 4-6 SPED02
 
12. Exceeding speed limit (by 50 kilometres per hour of more) – regulations 3 and 4 of the Road Traffic (Speed) Regulations 2011 and sections 124(1) and (4) 6-8 SPED03
 
13. Failing to wear seat belt when driving a motor vehicle – regulations 87(1)(a)(i) and (b) of the Road Traffic (Construction and Use of Vehicles) Regulations 2010 2-4 BELT01
 
14. Failing to comply with traffic sign (crossing a continuous white line on a road) – Traffic Signs Regulations 1990 and sections 123AD(2), 184 and 185 2-4 LINE01
 
15. Failing to comply with traffic sign (traffic lights) – Traffic Signs Regulations 1990 and sections123AD(2), 184 and 185 2-4 TRLT01
 
16. Dangerous driving – section 123A 8-10 DANG01
 
17. Driving without due care or reasonable consideration – section 123C 8-10 CARE01
 
18. Breach of lane discipline on a dual carriageway – section 123AM 3-6 LANE01
 
19. Involuntary homicide and wounds and blows – section 133 8-10 INWB01
Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email: infserv@intnet.mu Website:http://gis.gov.mu
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