THE Traffic section of the Guardia Civil has cracked down on drivers in the Balearics since the introduction of the new driving license system, whereby points are deducted if highway laws are broken. Traffic administration offices have confirmed that on record during the first eleven days after introduction 491 incidences of drivers being hauled over for serious infringements which means a total loss of 1'639 points. The most common reason for drivers having to forfeit points after being stopped at check points was for not wearing seat belts (133 cases), speeding (107 cases), and being over the permitted limit for drinking and driving (78 cases). Graded according to the seriousness of the offence, guilty drivers had between two and six points docked from their points allowance (see graph).
The combined number of points withdrawn for these three infractions alone came to 1'048, a figure representing 64 percent of all the penalties incurred during the first eleven days of the new license points system being in operation. According to information released by the Traffic department, 81.3 percent of those charged by the Guardia Civil were men.
Data reveals that 399 offences were committed by males in contrast to 92 by females.
Although the department does not provide details of individual drivers who have had license points docked, they saw fit to confirm that 22 of the guilty parties were professional drivers and 83 were under 25-years-of-age. The Federation of Balearic Transport Companies asserted that only a smattering of their driver members emerged with penalties after the first eleven days. “From the information we have, it appears that our drivers have not made a significant contribution to the points withdrawal total,” said its managing director, Salvador Servera yesterday. “The infractions attributed to professionals barely reached four percent of the penalties,” he said.
Similarly the Majorcan Association of Taxi Drivers reported that “life has continued as normal” after the introduction of the new license points system, although it pointed out that its national counterpart, the National Confederation of Taxi Drivers had opposed the new law. From a different angle, however, the Balearic Business Confederation (CAEB) and other commercial associations had complained to the Balearic government and Palma City Council that their professional drivers may be unfairly penalised. During the process of delivery, parking and unloading in areas, such as the narrow streets of Palma and the city centre, there is no choice but to block the road for a few minutes whilst vans and lorries are loaded or emptied.

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