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Ministry of Works & Transport

Frequently Asked Questions - Demerit Points System

Frequently Asked Questions - Demerit Points System Printable Version

Introduction of Demerit Points System

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ's)

1. FAQ: How will demerit points be allotted and will they still be recorded on your driver’s permit if you pay your fine in full?

Answer: The proposed introduction of the demerit points system will see certain traffic offences and traffic violations carrying prescribed demerit points, in addition to other stipulated penalties. The proposed points to be allotted for every violation will be in keeping with international standards for similar types of offences. The points would range from two, which is generally the minimum to 14, which is the maximum.
Where any of the prescribed offences are committed, the offender would be subject to the imposition of the penalties or fines stipulated in the legislation, along with the recording and endorsing of the stipulated number of demerit points in his record at the Licensing Authority.
 
2. FAQ: How long will the demerit points stay on your licensing records before it is expunged?

Answer: Your demerit points will expunge after three years. The Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill, 2017 states: "Where demerit points have been recorded against the driving permit record of a person and three continuous years have elapsed without additional demerit points being recorded, the demerit points recorded against that person’s driving permit record shall be expunged.

3. FAQ: Are there any distinctions made for a newly licensed driver versus a more seasoned driver?

Answer: Yes there are. Where a “newly licensed driver”, meaning a person who is the holder of a driving permit for a period of twelve months or less from the date of issue, or a holder of a provisional permit accumulates seven or more demerit points within a period of twelve (12) months from the date of issue of the driving permit or the provisional permit, shall be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving permit for a period of one (1) year.

Whereas in instances where a person holds a driving permit for more than twelve (12) months and accumulates within a three (3) year period, the following will apply:

• ten or more but less than fourteen demerit points, the Licensing Authority shall disqualify that person from holding or obtaining a driving permit for a period of six months;

• fourteen or more but less than twenty demerit points, the Licensing Authority shall disqualify that person from holding or obtaining a driving permit for a period of one year; or
 
• twenty or more demerit points, the Licensing Authority shall disqualify that person from holding or obtaining a driving permit for a period of two years


4. FAQ: Will I have the opportunity to contest the award of Demerit points on my licensing records?

Answer: Yes. In cases of appeals against convictions under subsection (1), no demerit points shall be recorded against the driving permit record of the person unless the conviction is confirmed on appeal. Section 83 Subsection (1) of the Act states: “Where a fixed penalty notice has been issued or affixed under section 81, the driver or owner of the vehicle, as the case may be, shall, unless he files a Notice to Contest, pay the fixed penalty within thirty days from the date that the fixed penalty notice was issued or affixed, or such longer period as the Minister may by Order prescribe.”
And so, Demerit points are awarded where a person fails to meet the time specified for the payment of the fixed penalty and a notice to contest was NOT filed by the driver or owner within the specified time.

5. FAQ: Would I be notified that I have been disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving permit and can I appeal?

Answer: Yes. The Licensing Authority shall notify a person of its intention to disqualify pursuant to Section 88M (2) of the Act. Furthermore, the Licensing Authority is required to specify a period of not less than fourteen (14) days after the date of the notice where suspension will occur. At this time, the person is still given an opportunity to show just cause why he should not be disqualified. A person who is disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving permit under this section may, within fourteen days of the receipt of the notice under subsection (4), appeal to a Court of competent jurisdiction against that decision and the decision of that Court shall be final.

 6. FAQ: I have just received notice that I have been disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving permit. When can I be re-issued one and what requirements are there?



Answer: A person is barred from applying to the Licensing Authority to have his permit reissued unless the period of disqualification has expired or is removed under section 88M(8).

Reissuance of a Permit:

To be reissued a permit after the expiration of the period of disqualification, the person disqualified would be required to:

o participate in a driver’s rehabilitation programme approved by the Licensing Authority;

o pass a driving test; and

o pay the prescribed fee for the re-issue of the driving permit.

7. FAQ: Is it possible to be charged with more than one traffic violation at a time and if so, how would demerit points be ascribed?

Answer: Yes it is possible. Section 88 (L) caters to situations where a driver breaks more than one traffic violation arising out of one incident. In this case the person would have recorded against his driving permit record:

· Demerit points for the traffic violation that carries the highest number of demerit points.

· Demerit points for only one traffic violation in instances where the traffic violations carry an equal number of demerit points.



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