The new system means that offenses will no longer be assessed with one to seven points – but only with one, two or three points, depending on their severity. So far, the driver’s license is only at 18 points away. Federal transport minister peter ramsauer (CSU) hopes the reform will bring more transparency and greater road safety.
Violations that do not endanger traffic safety will no longer be punished with points. This includes driving into an environmental zone without a sticker or violating a sunday driving ban. The reform will probably not come into force before 2014. The bundestag and bundesrat must first give their approval – it is still unclear whether the states will allow the law, which requires approval, to pass.
Ramsauer emphasized: "with the cabinet’s decision, the federal government has taken another important step toward a more citizen-friendly regulation."At present, nine million citizens have points in the central traffic register at the federal motor vehicle office in flensburg. A total of around 47 million recorded points must be converted into the new "driver suitability register.
There will be no general amnesty, ramsauer stressed. However, environmental zone points are to be eliminated. The same applies to violations that do not endanger traffic safety, such as disregarding sunday driving bans or parking on fire department access roads. The "points speedometer" is to comprise three levels of penalty: if a person has 4 or 5 points (yellow), he or she will receive a warning and information about the driving suitability assessment system. With 6 or 7 points (red) there is a warning and the order to participate in a newly designed driving aptitude seminar. With 8 points (black) the driving license is gone and can be applied for again at the earliest after six months. Individual offenses are to be tried in the future, this can take up to eleven years.
The reform also involves an increase in fines: cell phone calls while driving will now cost 60 instead of 40 euros. Driving without the correct sticker will no longer be punished with a point, but with 80 euros instead of the previous 40 euros. A violation of the winter tire obligation will cost 60 instead of 40 euros, a disregard of the child safety obligation up to 70 euros.
Criticism came, among others, from the auto club europa (ACE), which sees no substantial improvement. The new system is no less complicated. "It is still not clear to the public what the advantage of this type of points reform is supposed to be," said ACE spokesman rainer hillgartner. ADAC praised the reform, but criticized the fact that in the future it will no longer be possible to remove points from the register through voluntary seminars.