A new driving licence system that uses the subtraction of points to punish drivers for traffic violations will be implemented in Portugal in June 2016, the government has confirmed.
The system was approved by Portugal’s Council of Ministers on Thursday (May 21) and has already been given the thumbs-up by Portugal’s Automobile Club (ACP).
On paper the system is fool-proof. Drivers will be given 12 points which they can lose on a determined scale for various offences.
The amount of points that can be lost will depend on the offence.
Two points, for instance, will be lost for “serious” offences and four for “very serious” ones.
Drivers caught under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be penalised with the loss of three to five points – depending on how seriously the driver’s senses are affected.
If all 12 points are lost, the driver will lose his/her licence for two years and be forced to attend classes to get it back.
But it’s not all about losing points.
Drivers who register no driving violations for three years will win three points. However, their total point tally can never exceed 15.
Another advantage is that drivers will be able to keep track of their driving record online at https://portalcontraordenacoes.ansr.pt
Secretary of State for Internal Administration João Almeida explained that until this new system comes into effect, traffic violations will continue to be punished under the current system and won’t be “pardoned” once the point system is implemented.
Carlos Barbosa, president of Portugal’s Automobile Club, has welcomed the new system, saying it should have come “even sooner”.
He also praised the fact that drivers will be able to “easily” access their driving record online – a task that has been “impossible” up until now.
“It will help people have quick access to their updated information,” he said, adding that this system is already widely used in European countries such as Spain and France without any issues.
In UK there is a similar system, but it is based on points being added to licences as “black marks”.
If all goes according to plan, Portugal’s new point system will be implemented on June 1, 2016.
By MICHAEL BRUXO [email protected]