Point system

Point system

:"For other uses of the word point, see Point"A point system is one in which a driver's licensing authority issues demerits, or "points" to drivers on conviction for road traffic offenses. Points may either be added or subtracted, depending on the particular system in use. A major offense may lead to more than the maximum allowed points being issued, but more typically, the accumulation (or loss) of too many points over a given period or time can lead to additional penalties, including fines and suspension or revocation of the driver's license. The primary purpose of such point systems is to identify and deter repeat offenders of traffic laws, whilst also streamlining the legal process.

Germany was the first country worldwide that introduced a demerit point system (legal implementation in 1974).


:"This article discusses point systems in the abstract; for details about any point system in place in your area, consult your local police department, DMV, or other drivers' licensing authority. This description treats points as demerits; in some jurisdictions, points may instead be measures of merit which are subtracted when a traffic offense is committed."In jurisdictions which use a point system, the police or licensing authorities (as specified by law) maintain, for each driver, a driving score--typically an integer number specified in "points". Traffic offenses, such as speeding or disobeying traffic signals, are each assigned a certain number of points, and when a driver is determined to be guilty of a particular offense (by whatever means appropriate in the region's legal system), the corresponding number of points are added to the driver's total. When the driver's total exceeds a certain threshold, the driver may face additional penalties, be required to attend safety classes or driver training, be subject to re-examination, or lose his/her driving privileges.

The threshold(s) to determine additional penalties may vary based on the driver's experience level, prior driving record, age, educational level attained, and other factors. In particular, it is common to set a lower threshold for young, inexperienced motorists.

In some jurisdictions, points can also be added if the driver is found to be significantly at fault in a traffic accident. Points can be removed from a driver's score by the simple passage of time, by a period of time with no violations or accidents, or by the driver's completion of additional drivers' training or traffic safety training.

Major traffic offenses, such as hit and run or drunk driving may or may not be handled within the point system. Such offenses often carry a mandatory suspension of driving privileges, and may incur other serious penalties such as imprisonment.

In the United States, aspects of a motorists driving record (including points) may be reported to insurance companies; who may then use a motorists score in determining what rate to charge the motorist, and/or whether or not to renew or cancel an insurance policy.

Requirements of point systems

*A close relation of points and accident risk (validity)
*Comprehensibility for a good acceptance
*A high level of transparency for concerned persons
*Regulated reduction of points by effective psychological help

Jurisdictions that use a point system


As in Denmark, with these differencies: The system is called "prikkbelastning" with prikk(er) meaning dot(s). Some violations (only speeding or ignoring stop or yield rules) gives 1 or 2 dots. If you get caught for driving at a speed of 51-60 km/h in a 50 km/h area, you get no dots. 61-70 km/h gives one dot while 71-75 km/h gives two dots. Speeds measured to 76 km/h or more results in immediately loss of driving permit (plus a fine and perhaps imprisonment) but no dots. Not stopping for stop signs or red lights, as well as breaking other yield rules, gives two dots.

Drivers reaching 8 points in two years loses the driving permit for 6 months. Each dot is deleted when two years has passed since the violation took place. Currently the system is debated and malfunctioning. Some drivers still has not got their driving permit withdrawn even after receiving eight or more dots. Suggestions have been made to reduce the 8 dots limit to 6.

European Union


In Denmark, some traffic violations will incur a "klip" ("cut") in the licence. The cut is not physical, but refers to the "klippekort" (cutting-card). The cuts are actually remarks in the police database. The licence, though, only allows 3 cuts before the police keep it. Young drivers and probation drivers (those who re-obtained the license) only get 2 cuts for a certain period.


Points rating::Criminal acts in traffic are rated by 5 - 7 points depending on type and severity. :Traffic offences are rated by 1 - 4 points.

:The person concerned may obtain information on his or her points at any time free of charge.


The driving license authorities of the federal states are responsible for enforcing the penalty points system. The system provides for the following graded measures. Points rebate is only possible by voluntary measures once within 5 years. It is not possible to accumulate positive points. The date of issue of the participation certificate is decisive for the number of points and the calculation of the five-year period.:

Cancellation of entries/Cancellation of points

When the entry is taken off, the points are also deleted. The entries are always taken off the records once the fixed periods laid down in the traffic law (§ 29 StVG) have expired. The entry of a decision concerning an offence cannot be deleted as long as the person concerned is stored in the Central Register of Driving Permits as the holder of a beginner driver’s license (FaP).

Start of cancellation period

The period of time begins for sentences passed by courts with the day of the first verdict. When a driving permit has been denied or withdrawn or a driving ban has been imposed or if the permit has been renounced, the cancellation period does not begin until the driving permit is issued or re-issued, at the latest 5 years after the decision or the renunciation.

After attendance at a constructive seminar or a traffic psychologist's counselling, the suspension period begins on the day the certificate of attendance is issued. If a driving permit is revoked, the period begins on the day the notification is received at the responsible authority.

Extension period

Records are deleted when the cancellation period plus an extension period of one year has elapsed, provided no other decisions hamper cancellation. Cancellation occurs automatically without an application having to be made. No notification of cancellation is sent out. Deleted entries are completely destroyed, therefore no information can be given on them at a later date.

* [http://www.fit-to-drive.com/2006/downloads/Schade_KBA.pdf Effectiveness of the point system in Germany] .


Ireland introduced a penalty points system in 2002, based loosely on that of the United Kingdom.

Points are issued by the [http://www.penaltypoints.ie National Safety Council] for a list of 36 traffic offenses, ranging from 1 point for minor offenses up to 5 points, generally for serious offenses requiring a court visit. Once 12 points are accumulated, the driver gets an automatic 6 month driving ban. Points lapse after 3 years. Drivers may be banned outside of the system - such as for drink driving, dangerous driving and excessive speeding, most of which have no points amount.

31 of the 36 offenses carry fines which can be paid within 28 days, or appealed against - if the appeal is lost the points applied are doubled. The remaining 5 offenses require a court appearance at all times. All offenses also carry monetary fines

To date, 98 people have been banned for reaching 12 points, while 496,217 others have received 1 to 11 points. 131,988 of these did not hold a driving licenses at the time they received the points, or were otherwise disqualified. [http://www.penaltypoints.ie/assets/pdf/analysis%20of%20%20penalty%20points%20(current)%20issued%20-%20%20(cumulative)%202007%20dec.pdf]

Moves are underway to allow interchange of points between Ireland and the United Kingdom (respectively the only countries each has a land border with), as currently drivers can commit motoring offenses in one territory while holding a license from the other with no repercussions.


In Italy the driver has 20 points by default, and receives a bonus of 2 points for every 2 years of correct behavior, with a maximum of 30 points.Each traffic violation incurs a specific point penalty (for example, ignoring a traffic light involves a penalty of 6 points). If the driver loses all points, the driving license is revoked.

United Kingdom

In the UK, points are given for traffic offences, e.g. typically three to six points for a speeding offence. Points remain on the licence for four years from conviction (eleven years for drink- and drug-related convictions) - twelve points on the licence within three years makes the driver liable to disqualification by a court, but not automatic disqualification. [ [http://www.direct.gov.uk/Motoring/DriverLicensing/EndorsementsAndDisqualifications/EndorsementsDisqualificationsArticles/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4022550&chk=P3SAoK "Endorsements, penalty points and disqualification", Directgov] ] Since the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act in 1995, if a person in the two years after passing their first practical test accumulates six penalty points, their licence is revoked by the DVLA and the driver has to reapply and pay for the provisional licence, drive as a learner, and pay for and take the theory and practical tests before being allowed to drive on their own. In the case of egregious offences, the court may order the driver to pass an extended driving test before the licence is returned, even for people out of the two-year probation period. [ [http://www.direct.gov.uk/Motoring/LearnerAndNewDrivers/NewlyQualifiedDrivers/NewQualifiedDriversArticles/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4022566&chk=1ZQD6M "The Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995", Directgov] ]

United States of America

Use of the point system varies state-by-state; some states use it; others do not.



Drivers who accumulate tickets for moving violations may be considered a negligent operator and could lose their right to drive. Major offenses, such as hit and run, reckless driving, and driving under the influence, earn 2 points and remain on record for seven years. Less serious offenses earn 1 point which remains for three years.

A driver is considered negligent if they accumulate::4 points in 12 months, or :6 points in 24 months, or :8 points in 36 months Suspension or Revocation by Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

Negligent drivers can be put on probation for one year (including a six month suspension) or lose their right to drive. At the end of the suspension or revocation period, drivers need to re-apply for a license to drive.

DMV will revoke a license after conviction for hit-and-run driving or reckleSuspension by Judge

A judge may suspend license following conviction for::Breaking speed laws or reckless driving. :Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. :Hit-and-run driving. :Engaging in lewd conduct and prostitution in a vehicle within 1000 feet (300 m) of a residence. :Assaulting a driver, passenger, bicyclist, or pedestrian when the offense occurs on a highway (road rage). :Failure to stop as required at a railway grade crossing. :Felony or misdemeanor offense of recklessly fleeing a law enforcement officer.

When a driver is cited for a traffic violation, the judge "may" offer the driver the opportunity to attend a Traffic Violator School. Drivers may participate once in any 18 month period to have a citation dismissed from their driving record this way.

Regardless of the number of points accumulated, many serious offenses involving a vehicle are punishable by heavy fines and/or imprisonment.



Colorado uses an accumulating point system. Suspension of driving priviliges can result from as few as 6 points in 12 months by a driver under 18 years old. Points remain on the driver's motor vehicle record for 7 years. Some motor vehicle offences carry 12 points per incident, which could result in immediate suspension of the drivers license. Multiple traffic violation convictions can also result in a suspension of the drivers license if a sufficient number of points are accumulated during a 12 month or 24 month period.

See the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles Point Schedulehttp://www.revenue.state.co.us/mv_dir/formspdf/4665.pdf

New York

For out of state offenses, NYSDMV does not record point violations with the exception of violations from Quebec and Ontario.


Traffic laws are the responsibility of the State and Territory Governments. Demerit points are used in all states and territories, and road authorities share information about interstate offences.

New South Wales

Different classes of driving licences start with a different number of points as follows: [cite web|url=http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/rulesregulations/penalties/demeritpoints/index.html|title=Demerit points scheme|publisher=Roads and Traffic Authority, New South Wales, Australia|accessdate=2008-03-28]
*Full unrestricted licence holders - 12 demerit points in a three-year period.
*Provisional P2 licence - 7 points
*Provisional P1 licence - 4 points
*Unrestricted licence with a good behaviour period - 2 points within the term of the good behaviour period.

During holiday periods, double demerit points apply for speeding, seatbelt and helmet-related offences. School zones attract more one more demerit point than other areas.


Different classes of licence can accrue different numbers of points before facing suspension:
*Normal licences - 12 points over three years
*Learner and probationary drivers - 5 points in 12 months, 12 points over three years

Drivers may choose to keep their licence on a 12 month good behaviour period. Drivers may not accrue any demerit points during that time, and any offences result in the licence being suspended for double the time it would have been suspended initially. [cite web|url=http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/Licensing/LicencesPenalties/DemeritPoints.htm|title=Demerit points|publisher=VicRoads|accessdate=2008-05-10]

Northern Territory

A demerit points scheme was introduced on 1 September 2007.

Different classes of licence can accrue different numbers of points before facing suspension:
*Normal licences - 12 points over three years
*Learner and provisional drivers - 5 points in 12 months, 12 points over three years

Drivers may have the option of a good behaviour period, where they may only accrue 2 points. Drivers on good behaviour face suspension for double their original suspension if they violate their conditions.

Offences that accrue points include speeding, failing to obey a red traffic light or level crossing signal, failing to wear a seatbelt, drink driving, using a mobile phone, failure to display L or P plates, street racing, burnouts and causing damage. [cite web|url=http://www.nt.gov.au/transport/mvr/licensing/infobulletins/ibl30.pdf|title=Motor Vehicle Registry Information Bulletin - L30 - Northern Territory Demerit Points Scheme|publisher=Northern Territory Government|accessdate=2008-05-10]

New Zealand

New Zealand uses a demerit points system. A driver who accumulates 100 points in a two year period will have his licence automatically disqualified for a period of 3 months, after which his points are wiped and he starts afresh.

Other jurisdictions

* People's Republic of China - see also Road Traffic Safety Law of the People's Republic of China
* Hong Kong
* Republic of China (Taiwan)
* Malaysia - see also KEJARA System
* Singapore
* Brazil
* Canada
** Ontario [http://www.trafficticketsolutions.ca/demeritpoints.php List of demerit points against your licence]
* [http://www.police.govt.nz/service/road/infringements_faq.html#3 New Zealand Police]


See also

* Traffic ticket
* Driver's license

External links

* [http://www.driving-law.co.uk/penalties/max_penalties.asp Penalty Points and Fines] , UK site, nice clear information on points for various driving offences.

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