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Home arrow Motoring arrow WARNING Changes to penalties for motoring offences
WARNING Changes to penalties for motoring offences
Monday, 27 April 2009
From Motociclismo News tranlated by Andrew Brown

In a few weeks, driving in excess of the speed limit of 120 km/hr on motorways will make you liable to a fine of 100 euros. Changes to Road Traffic laws which are going through the Congress of Deputies will do away with the current practice of permitting speeds of up to 133km/hr without penalty.

The Government is passing changes to the law under which it will amend the list of offences which, since the introduction of the new points system in July 2006, have  made drivers liable to the deduction of points from their licence. One of the new proposals is the abolition of the 13 km/hr “margin” which up to now has been allowed on motorways where the speed limit is 120 km/hr. Currently, if a motorist is caught by a speed camera doing between 121 and 133 km/hr he is not punished. Soon that will no longer be the case. When the new law comes into force speed cameras on motorways will prosecute and fine the driver of any vehicle doing more than 120 km/hr. The fine will be 100 euros, although there will not be an automatic deduction of points.

The changes also propose that some offences which currently result in points being lost will no longer do so. These are ones which the Director General of Traffic (DGT) considers are not significant factors in contributing to road fatalities. Thus, you will no longer lose points for driving on a motorway in a prohibited vehicle such as a moped; or for carrying more than the permitted number of passengers; or parking in a bus lane, a tunnel or on a bend.

All these offences are still regarded as serious but will not lead to deduction of points. There will be a fine of 200 euros instead. In addition to clamping down on exceeding the speed limit on motorways, driving in excess of the speed limits in urban areas will be treated more seriously. To this end, driving at 80 km/hr in town, where there is a limit of 50 km/hr will result in a fine of 100 euros, and 300 euros for a second offence, and two points will be deducted.

Another offence which will be modified is that relating to number plates. When the new law comes into effect drivers of all vehicles will be required to maintain number plates in a clean and legible condition. The aim is to prevent drivers modifying or hiding their number plates to avoid speed cameras. If a driver is caught with an illegible number plate he will be liable to a 200 euro fine and may have four points deducted. Currently this offence does not lead to any loss of points.

In addition there will be four points deducted for anyone who drives while their licence is temporarily withdrawn. The use of a speed camera detector will lead to the deduction of six points (currently 2) and not maintaining a safe distance between your car and the one in front will cost four points, one more than at present.

The changes in the law will also aim to ensure that motorists actually pay their fines. Currently 30% are never paid. DGT proposes that provided a fine is paid within fifteen days drivers will be able to claim a reduction of 40% of the fine, 10% more than at present.



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