Mauritius steps up road safety driveBy LINLEY BIGNOUX in Port Louis | Thursday, May 24 2012 at 18:35
Mauritius is set to introduce a penalty points system for driving offences to help stem rising deaths from motor vehicle accidents, it has been announced.
The Prime Minister's office said that amendments to the Road Traffic Act would allow for the introduction and operation by the Mauritius Police.
The Bill for the point system will be tabled in the National Assembly by the Minister for Public Infrastructure, Mr Anil Bachoo.
The government says it was focusing on the effects of alcohol, drugs, medicine and drivers' overall competence, stressing that responsibility ultimately rested with drivers.
The use of technology, like mobile speed and fixed cameras, will also be incorporated to enhance road safety.
“With the introduction of the penalty point system, drivers failing to observe the road codes will be severely reprimanded. The upcoming legislation may cause a driver to have his licence suspended for at least six months if he has exceeded the threshold of 15 penalty points,” Mr Bachoo said.
“On a second disqualification, the driving licence shall be cancelled.
The penalty point system will trigger the right mind set among drivers so that they become more cautious and diligent, added the minister.”
According to Mr Bachoo, current figures showed that 30 per cent of drivers killed on the roads were under the influence of alcohol.
He warned those who took such risks that there would be zero tolerance.
The minister added that the government would soon introduce driver education centres, intensive road safety campaigns and purchase additional speed monitoring cameras.
According to Traffic Management and Road Safety Unit of Mauritius, over the past 10 years, the average annual fatal accidents was 153 and serious ones 260.
Political commentators have in the past criticised the government for the lack of police presence to control drink driving, excessive speeding and to inspect motor vehicles.
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