New penalty points system for drivers in Cyprus will head to the House for a vote
The penalty points system for Cypriot drivers is about to be revamped, with new legislation proposing stiffer penalties but also fixing loopholes that make the current scheme unreliable.
A government-backed bill, sponsored by the Justice Ministry and recently cleared by the Legal Services Department, would make it possible for the Traffic Department to inform the Transport Department directly as soon as a driver accumulates 12 penalty points.
An earlier draft sought to authorise police officers to confiscate the licence on the spot, if they determined that a driver had reached at least 12 points including any penalties registered during their traffic stop.
But an automatic revocation was deemed as ‘possibly unconstitutional’ following consultations with the attorney general’s office, citing the right of an individual to be heard in court.
The final draft heading to Parliament would call for the Transport Department to give drivers five days to appeal the driver permit suspension.
The bill would also make it possible for drivers who have accumulated over 12 penalty points to have those points expunged from their records after their case is processed.
Currently, there is no way for penalty points to be expunged from a record with over 12 points. As a result, a driver with 12 points could go to court and pay a fine but get no penalty points, which could result in him or her keeping the licence but potentially having sometimes even 20 or 25 points on their record.
An increase in fines will also go into effect, in some cases raising fines to triple or quadruple amounts for serious traffic violations.
But those bills are being held up at the Legal department and are expected to go to the House floor towards the end of the year.