The road safety and security in Mauritius will be living a new era in some months following the introduction of the penalty based driving permit. With the rising number of accidents and deaths caused by them, it was high time to implement a new means for a safer road. But is the Penalty points system relevant to the Mauritian context?
Offenses and points to be deducted
- Not wearing a prescribed helmet securely while riding a motorcycle or autocycle: 2-4points - Rs 500 fine
- Using hand-held microphone or telephone handset while you are driving: 2-4 points -Rs 1500 fine
- Not complying with traffic sign or traffic lights or continuous white line: 2-4 points -Rs 2000 fine
- Not wearing seat belt when driving: 2-4 points - Rs 500 fine>
- Exceeding speed limit by less than 25 km/h (example: speed limit is 40 km/h and you are driving at 65 km/h): 2-4 points
- Not obeying or ignoring a traffic police officer: 2-4 points
- Breach of lane discipline on a dual carriageway: 3-6 points - Rs 1000 fine
- For people carrying goods, loads or anything on their vehicle; if it is not securely attached and may fall down: 3-6 points - Rs 500
- Not having proper lights on during darkness hours (may be at night or cloudy weather): 3-6 points - Rs 500
- Not giving priority to traffic coming from more important lanes, mainroad: 3-6 points
- Exceeding speed limit by 25 km/h or more, but less than 50 km/h (example: speed limit is 40, you are driving at 89 km/h): 4-6 points - Rs 2000 fine
- Overtaking or passing a vehicle which has stopped at a pedestrian crossing: 4-6points - Rs 500
- Blocking partially or fully the passage of pedestrian using the crossing: 4-6 points
- Hit and run (i.e. not remaining at the scene of an accident when you are involved): 4-8 points
- Exceeding speed limit by 50 km/h or more (example: speed limit is 40 km/h and you are driving at 90 km/h): 6-8 points
- Killing someone by accident (involuntary homicide), wounds and blows: 8-10
- Careless driving (example: run into the back of another vehicle): 8-10 points
- Dangerous driving (example: driving at a speed or in a way that could harm other people): 8-10 points
The ultimate punishments
For a learner the maximum cumulative point is 10 and for a driver with a licence it is 15 points. No driving permissions will be given for 6 months following the first offense for maximum points reached. For a second offense, a driving test has to be redone.
Driving License Counterpart (DLC) to be distributed as from 21 January to 21 March 2013
The DLC will be distributed in 21 Police Stations of the Mauritius and two of Rodrigues as from 9h00 to 19h00. Each driver will need to bring along the National Identity Card, driving license and a proof of address. Someone may represent 4 persons at a time.
Irrelevant to the Mauritian Context!
While the penalty points system may act as a deterrent for careless driving, is it really a one-sided view?
A driving license representing a job for many, parting with it may be synonymous to losing a means of living. With no proper infrastructures and road signs at many places, it is too early to introduce such a system in the country. With the judiciary system taking so much time for court cases to be given a verdict, road offenses necessitate another court “The Traffic court”. If the magistrate is the only one able to deduct points, it is going to get really cumbersome at some point in time.
How can the Mauritian Penalty point system co-exists with a fine system? The fine system should be abolished or a driver given the possibility to pay a fine or have his points deducted. You lose your driving licence and over it you have to pay a fine !
What’s your opinion about the Penalty points system?
As usual we asked a few people around us about their opinion about the new penalty points system.
Vicky: “The number of accidents in the country is really too high. It will serve as a lesson to the careless drivers. You may well not be drunk and drive cautiously following all driving rules. But there are other drunk and careless drivers who may be the cause for you to have an accident”.
Feroze: “It is a very good initiative. Not only we will have a safer road now but there will be a major filtration now as those who possess a false driving license will be obliged to get a genuine one.”
Marzia: “Too many persons do not respect road codes. Although all our roads are not good, cases like overtaking another vehicle on the crossing, zigzagging on the road, dangerous driving, exceeding speed limits should severely be punished. Penalty points system will force drivers to respect the road and driving rules.”
Sania: “A fine system should be introduced for pedestrians also. There are many who are really very careless.”
Avish: “A good thing to penalise careless drivers but also a good tool for some policemen to use as a threat to encourage bribe on the road. Giving Rs500 to the chap is easier to handle than losing 4 to 5 points on a scale of limited points.”
Avin: “Some laws too strict in Penalty points system. The points to be deducted are too exaggerated for the speed excess. “
Diraj:”Mauritius is just Copying and Pasting the European Penalty points system. Are our road infrastructures up to the European Standards for us to copy them? ”