The Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) is proposing a review of the driving licence points system, as, after being in operation for ten-years, the positive downward trend in road fatalities has been broken, with 2016 already seeing more road-related deaths than in 2015.

With still some days to go, there have been 1,138 deaths officially recorded on the main road network of the country, an increase in 7 deaths over 2015.

The recently appointed Director General, Gregorio Serrano, has recognised that the data is “not good”, and that road traffic incidents have “worsened”, and so it is considered that 2017 will be “a key year” to face the challenge of all sectors agreeing to design a “good road safety plan”.

Serrano has made it clear that after ten years, it is time to “sit down” and see “what has been positive” and “what can be changed” with the system, as “We cannot stay still, we have to evaluate the system and put on the table what measures are necessary so that the points system remains a useful system for the reduction of accidents”, he said.

Serrano added that the DGT is “aware” that the time has come to “evaluate the future” of this measure, and to do so with “objective opinions and data”, in addition to looking at the reforms that have been made in other European countries. The “road ahead” has “a lot of work to do”, insisted Serrano, who has called for the collaboration of all sectors involved so that “together” road safety can be improved.

Serrano said that the 1,138 deaths prior to the Christmas campaign represent seven more than in all of 2015 and represent 27 more than in the same period of the previous year.

For that reason and “beyond percentages”, the DGT has used the “broken lives and family tragedies” to highlight the outcome of each of the individual incidents, and focus on the contributing factors that have led to each and every one of them.

The same factors are still ever present in the majority of these incidents. Inappropriate speed, alcohol or drugs, distractions such as using a mobile phone, and the incorrect or lack of use of seatbelts. Tragically, Serrano pointed out, 80% of child deaths could have been avoided with the correct use of child safety seats, a reason alone to advocated a “greater sanction” and control.

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