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This week marked the ninth anniversary of Spain´s driver penalty point system for traffic offences. Unlike the UK where points are added for committing offences, in Spain, drivers start with an allocation of points, which can increase in the case of good, incident-free driving, but are taken away in the event of being liable for an offence.

According to the data released by the DGT this week, 73% of all Spanish drivers have their full quota of points intact, but there are 7 million drivers who have been penalised.

Since the launch of this system, over 7 million drivers have lost a total of 35.5 million points, out of which 21.6 million were withdrawn by DGT sanctions and 9.07 million to be imposed by the municipalities. Responsible for policing their own road networks, 1.06 million were withdrawn by the Basque Government and 3.7 million by the Catalan Traffic Service.

A total of 203,283 drivers have lost their driving license on account of exhausting all of their points. Of those, 183,342 were men and 19,940 were women.

The most likely reason for losing points is for speeding. Last year alone there were 640,996 speed related infractions. What might surprise many is that it´s not the younger generation who seem to be the most speed obsessed but the middle aged. Some 54% of drivers who lost points for speeding are aged between 35 and 54, whereas only 20% are younger.

Speeding is also precept where there are a higher percentage of women offenders, with 27%, ten points above the recurrence of other offenses.

Regarding the consumption of alcohol and drugs at the wheel, violations have increased in these nine years, from the 94,027 complaints the first year, to 119,345 in 2014, with the highest peak being in 2011 with 141,170.

Unlike the profile of speeding drivers, young people and men have a major problem with alcohol and drugs and driving, with 87% being male and 59% being under the age of 35.

Last year, 30,630 drivers lost points as a result of having consumed alcohol or drugs before driving, 17,160 drivers have been penalised twice in the last three years and 1,854 three times in the same period for driving with higher than the permitted alcohol rate in their system. In the case of drugs, there are 932 drivers with two penalties in the last three years and another 167 with three penalties in the same period. The DGT is now investigating harsher penalties in order to deter this activity.

Distractions whilst driving, the third major contributor to road traffic incidents, has also seen a startling increase in recent years. In 2007, there were 71,536 sanctions for using a mobile phone at the wheel. Last year that figure had almost doubled to 139,671, which have led to the withdrawal of more than 400,000 points.

Once again, it is not the young who are most at fault as the majority of violations, some 39%, are between the ages of 40 and 55.

Not wearing seat belts and child restraints has actually seen a decline in the number of offences, from 135,815 nine years ago, to 122,822 last year, resulting in the withdrawal of 368,466 points. The most likely offender when it comes to not wearing a seatbelt are men however, responsible for a staggering 90% of all violations.


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