Staff Reporter

PALMA
SOME 10 Balearic drivers have lost their licences since the introduction of the points system on July 1, 2006.
Another 31 drivers will follow them during the next two weeks, according to the Spanish Government's delegate to the Balearics, Ramon Socias, “as they are yet to receive the letter which tells them that they have lost all their points”.

Reviewing the last 18 months, Socias said that in total 41 Balearic drivers have lost all their points during this period. He highlighted the fact that “during the whole of last year there were no prison sentences for speeding or consumption of alcohol. This is a very slow legal process and we have to work to bring in these prison sentences very soon”.

The reasons for points being lost are very varied. The National Traffic Department (DGT) will withdraw the licence for a period of six months, extendable to 12 months if the temporary ex-driver has offended before. To recover your driving licence, the driver has to take an awareness and re-education course lasting 15 hours, and after that has to pass some aptitude tests. The DGT will then issue a new licence, although it will only have eight points on it. After three years without any serious of very serious offences, they can apply to have the 12 points reinstated.

The start of the licence points system has made a big change in the behaviour of Spanish drivers.
For example, the incidence of positive breath tests has been reduced to almost half of what it was before, according to the review of the years 2006-2007 by the Spanish Ministry for the Interior. The reduction has been much more noticeable in the special operations at Christmas, as the positive breath tests came down by 25 percent.

During the first year of the points system being in place, there were 450 courses undertaken by drivers wanting to recover their points. The greatest amount of points (six) can be lost for driving under the influence of drink or drugs, refusing to take a breath test, driving up a street the wrong way or for exceeding the speed limit by 50 percent. Four points can be lost for negligent driving, failing to stop at a STOP sign, overtaking where there is limited visibility or driving in reverse on a motorway.

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