Ministry Cracks Down on Bad Driving

One year after the Transportation Ministry instituted a new point system for serious traffic violators, it has begun revoking the licenses of delinquent drivers.

According to the new system, in the first stage, the licenses of some 200 drivers who had amassed over 36 penalty points over a four-month period will be revoked for a period of three months, after which they will be required to pass the driving theory exam again to renew their licenses. They will also be required to take a basic driver's ed course.

Transportation Ministry spokesman Avner Ovadia said that in the coming months, hundreds of additional drivers who had accumulated more than 36 points for serious violations would receive notice that their licenses had been revoked for three months.

Among the new regulations initiated by the Transportation Ministry last year are a doubling of the amount of time points remain on a driver's record, and automatic revocation of a license above a certain number of points. In certain cases, license renewal will be conditioned on passing a new driving test.

According to the old point system, drivers who had accumulated 6-10 points were required to pass a driver's ed course, after which the points were removed. Under the new system, the points will only be removed after a certain amount of time, regardless of the driver's ed course.

However, to the relief of drivers, the number of infractions incurring points has been reduced from 423 to 74. For example, driving without a garbage bin in the car is no longer a punishable offense.

The police and the Transportation Ministry have announced greater enforcement of the law requiring drivers who have reached the maximum number of points for violations to take the driver's ed course. A publicity campaign of the Road Safety Authority will begin on Sunday.