Penalty points fail to curb drivers

Poor communication between government departments along with the lack of the right technological support has meant that the point system penalizing drivers for traffic violations has become inefficient over the last few years, Transport Minister Michalis Liapis said yesterday. Liapis said that the government will make changes to the system by fall in a revision that will come down harder on drivers who ignore traffic regulations by introducing larger fines and penalty points. «We have announced a tender so that there will be a new computer system along with the revised driving laws,» the minister said. Due to gaps in the current system, some 2.5 million drivers in the last four years have escaped from having points put on their license after being caught committing a traffic offense. A number of these drivers should have had their licenses revoked. The Transport Ministry will try and enter data from the last two years into the new information technology system in a bid to eventually catch up with the drivers in a race against time. If drivers collect 25 points, their driving licenses are revoked. However, road rule violations and penalty points are written off after a period of two years for professional drivers and after four years for non-professionals. Liapis met yesterday with transport experts and representatives from car companies as part of his talks with industry participants on the scheduled changes to driving regulations. The new point system will be stricter, especially for dangerous traffic violations. Efforts will also be aimed at educating future drivers by introducing lessons concerning driving safely across the country’s schools.