The penalty points system.

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The aim of this report is to present the findings of a public opinion poll about the penalty points driving licence conducted among the fifth year students of Mieres EOI ( English).The tool was a five item questionnaire which can be answered simply with yes/no or in a more elaborated way, giving reasons for the answers Due to the heterogeneity of the group , with ages that range between 18 to 46, males and females indistinctly, the information gathered has been diverse and recovers many of the most popular feelings about the new system and obviously many others not so popular…

The first question was just to make a necessary division into people with a licence, whose opinions should be more pragmatic and those without a licence whose ideas will have, undoubtedly, a very different perspective. Unfortunately, only three participants didn’t have licence but their answers were in some cases quite surprising; as for example that “on the road there is no risk if you don’t want” .The main question of the survey was about the effectiveness of the system, more than a half of the interviewees thinks that it is inefficient , there is also a small minority that suggests we should wait and see how it works but they add that failing a better suggestion…, it is a good try. Nearly 90% agreed with the idea that the number of offenders is in inverse proportion to the hardness of the punishments. The other 10% added that not all the offences are the same so not all the penalties should be enforced. About the presence off traffic police the vast majority admitted that when officers or radars are patrolling the roads they try to be more careful.

Asked about the biggest risk off our roads speed and drugs, especially alcohol were pointed out as the most important ones. There is also a special mention to the luck of respect to other drivers, the bad conditions of the roads or the poor security measures off some cars. When offenders don’t even have a driving licence or their points can’t be subtracted participants are rigorous: higher fines, total prohibition of obtaining a licence and jail, in this order.

In brief, the survey suggests that time will show the effectiveness of the system, although people aren’t so confident about its supposed achievements. In contrast it is a widespread belief that laws must be enforced for this kind of offence because its consequences are irreversible and devastating for all of us.

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