Record penalty points for new drivers

A record number of novice drivers got penalty points on their driver’s licenses last year, BNR reports based on figures from the Public Prosecution Service (OM). Almost 8,900 new drivers received a penalty point in 2020, compared to 7,200 in 2020.

Last year was the fourth annual increase in penalty points in a year. The OM did not have an obvious explanation for the rise. The coronavirus and accompanying lockdowns may have played a role – less traffic gave people more opportunity to speed, and you’re more noticeable on less busy roads, the OM speculated.

Young motorists’ behavior also played a role, the OM said. “The police tell us that speeding was an outlet for young people when corona caused boredom,” the OM said. 

Motorists are considered novice drivers for the first five years after getting their license. If you got your license at 16, you’re considered a novice for seven years. During that period, novice drivers can get a penalty point if the police catch them driving 30 kilometers above the speed limit, tailgating, or other dangerous driving behavior. 

Once a driver has two penalty points, the OM reports them to the licensing authority CBR, which will investigate their driving skills. This could mean having to re-take your driving test. According to the OM, only a tiny percentage of novice drivers get two or more penalty points. “This shows that awarding a point has an effect,” a spokesperson said to BNR. 

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