It has been just over a month since Malta introduced a penalty point system to clamp down on the plague of bad driving in the country, and the results are already starting to show.
Statistics published by the Times of Malta indicate the system has already started to catch on: 2,836 drivers, including 131 probationary ones, have so far been penalised a total of 8,508 points. This means that a hundredth of all licensed holders in the country have so far been penalised and that an average of 274 points are being dished out on a daily basis. The national warden agency LESA told the Times that the majority of fines have been dished out for speeding.
The new system assigns penalty points to a range of driving offences – from speeding, drunk driving and using a mobile phone at the wheel to driving without a valid vehicle license or third-party insurance. If drivers accumulate 12 penalty points over a year, then they will lose their license for two months. Drivers who lose their license twice in the span of three years must resit their driving test. If a license is revoked three times in five years, then the driver must wait a year before sitting for the test, and if is revoked four times in seven years then they must wait for two years.
Citing transport sources, the Times reported that nobody has lost their license so far but that three people have accumulated 12 penalty points as they have several rental cars to their names.