This is one scheme in which the more points you earn, the more you stand to lose. The Mumbai Traffic Police have mooted a points-based system to keep a record of offences committed by citizens. These points will be accumulated against one’s name with the kinds of traffic offence one commits.
According to the proposed system, every time a citizen breaks the law, he will be awarded points according to the offence committed. There are four different sections under the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988 that shall attract special points. Some of the most common offences like jumping a signal, parking in a no-parking zone, breaching a zebra crossing, driving without a helmet or a seat belt, rash driving, over-speeding and drunken driving will earn you points.
“We are proposing the points system to the state government. If any person is caught violating any of these sections, points will be added against his name. Accumulation of a certain number of points can lead to cancellation of driving licence and permit,” said Vivek Phansalkar, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic). The points vary depending on the type of offence. For instance, sections 177, 183, 184 and 185 will accumulate 1, 3, 5 and 10 points respectively.
If a motorist accumulates too many points, it would lead to cancellation of driving licence. One will have to comply with a few requirements before reapplying for their driving licences. The motorists in question will have to undergo a special month-long training at a good motor driving school, retake the examination undertaken by the RTO, work as a traffic warden in two different sessions for at least two hours a day and assist traffic policemen in their work. He/she will also have to pay four times the cost of a driving licence to get a new one.
Before the points system is put into action, officials have to centralise their database. Presently, the authorities are struggling to complete the computerisation of data of vehicle owners and those registered at the Regional Transport Offices (RTOs). Currently, the Traffic Police are still working on an e-challan system, wherein fines and offences can be sent through email to the concerned motorists. The points system will be integrated into the e-challans, with the emailed receipts showing a record of how many points one has accrued.
Sources claim that once the computerisation is complete, information about vehicles registered, drivers and their licences, email addresses, mobile numbers and other details would be easily available.“We have asked the Transport department to ensure that email address and mobile numbers are made mandatory for driving licences. We have requested them to share this information with us. This will help us in proceeding with the e-challan system,” said a traffic police officer.
Points system in other countries
Singapore: All new Singapore driving licence holders are issued a one-year probationary licence, which allows up to a maximum of 12 demerit points in the year. If you exceed this, you will lose your licence. After the first year, the limit of allowed demerit points is increased to 24 points over a two-year period. Some of the more common demerit points are:
Exceeding speed limit by up to 20 kmph: 4
Exceeding speed limit by more than 40 kmph: 12
Reckless driving: 12
New York: The city of New York too is quite strict when it comes to driving offences. Below is a list of punishments one is liable for, if found guilty.
First offence for drunken driving:
Suspended licence for 6 months.
$125 civil penalty
$100 fee for suspension termination
Possible enrollment in the New York Drinking Driver Program (DDP) and all the associated costs
Licence revocation for 1 year (or until you turn 21 years old)
$125 civil penalty
Licence suspension for 90 days
$300 - $500 fine
10 points: Driving licence will be ineligible for 3 months
15 points: Driving licence will be ineligible for 6 months
20 points: Cancellation of driving licence and suspension of permit
30 points: Cancellation of permit
40 points: Registration of vehicle will be ineligible for 3 months
50 points: Registration of vehicle will be cancelled