Drivers welcome demerit points system

No more than 100 km/h. 
No more than 100 km/h. - PHOTO BY JEFF K MAYERS

Although drivers can be suspended for one to two years if they exceed the permitted number of demerit points on their permits, some have welcomed the new traffic enforcement system.

The system will go into effect from March 2 to deal with traffic offences and violations.

Every driver starts with zero demerit points.

In an interview with Newsday on Thursday, a taxi driver who gave his name only as Darryl said the new system would not only encourage drivers to do what is required by law but also change their errant driving habits.

“The risk of losing your licence, especially when my job entails driving as a taxi driver and a delivery driver, is not worth it.

“I think with the new system, drivers would be more vigilant, and it would also help with decreasing road carnage.

“Although I am glad the Ministry of Works has done this to deal with errant drivers, I think some people may fall victims to the rule of law by taking a chance by breaking the law.”

Adion Harris, a courier at Memory Bank Computers, said he welcomed the points system.

“In this way, drivers on the road would pay more attention, even if it (obliged) them to drive slower or even to leave home earlier, to ensure they do not break the law.

“This year started off with a road fatality, and once the system comes in effect, I think people would see the importance of having the new system.

Another taxi driver, who plies the Diego Martin Route and did not want to be named said it was a great move by the Ministry of Works and Transport.

Asked if he thinks the new system might affect the number of trips he can make in a day, or lead to an increase in fares, he said, “No. I don’t think the system would make any taxi driver ask for an increase in their fares. It is simple: comply with the law and you won’t have nothing to worry about.

“I think the transformation was long overdue.

“This would also allow us to have faster transactions at licensing office. This new system would also deal with the corruption there.”

He said once people get accustomed to the new system, he believes it will have a positive effect on how drivers use the roads and highways.

Demerit points:

Newly licensed driver who has had a permit for a year or less: Seven or more demerit points: Suspended for a year.

Experienced driver: Ten-14 demerit points accumulated within three years: Suspended for six months.

Experienced driver: 14-19 demerit points: Suspended for a year. More than 20 demerits: Suspended for two years.


Driver caught switching lanes without indication or discretion: Six demerit points.

Following too close to the vehicle in front – careless driving: Six demerit points.

Failure to provide a specimen of breath or blood: 14 demerit points.

Driver who is caught under the influence: Nine demerit points.

Failure to comply with a traffic sign or notice: $1,000 fine and three demerit points.

Exceeding speed limit by 31km/hr or more: $3,000 fine and six demerit points.

Driving while disqualified from holding/obtaining a driver’s permit: 14 demerit points.

The Ministry of Works and Transport website says where there is no fixed-penalty fine stipulated, this is an offence or violation that is not subject to the fixed penalty traffic ticketing system. In that case, demerit points will be recorded only upon conviction by a court.


"Drivers welcome demerit points system"

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