The points system is having its second birthday this month. The free daily newspaper Qué! reports that since Spain instituted the points system in 2006, 4.1 million points have been taken away and 7,162 people have completely lost their licences. Points are lost by any number of reasons, including speeding, running red lights, driving without a seatbelt and drunk driving. During the course of this year, there have been 244 less deaths as consequence of driving accidents than last year, a 20% decrease.
Spanish lawmakers must see this as an opportunity to step up the safe driving campaign at the same time as they tweak other aspects of the traffic law. Up until now, new drivers have started with 8 points, while those who have driven for 3+ years started out with 12. Starting next July (2009), those who haven’t committed any driving infractions in 3 years will be rewarded with two additional points, bringing the maximum total up to 14. Keep up the safe driving folks… just because we get a few extra points doesn’t mean we should drive pedal to the metal now.