Reckless Drivers Merit Demerits
As you should know by now, March 2, 2020 is the day the brand new Demerit Points System goes into effect in T&T. I for one welcome this system because for far too long people have been driving like "yiyons" on the nation's roads.
Let's just recap how the new system is intended to work for those of you not familiar because you ignore current events the same way you ignore traffic signs and road markings.
Basically, (and if my college professor heard me start a sentence with "basically" I would get Demerits of my own), the Demerit Points System is an electronically calculated method of assigning what I call "idiot points" to your driving permit record.
Points are placed on your record only after you pay your ticket or are convicted by the court. Don't feel you could try a "smart-man" ting and just not pay the ticket either because failure to pay within the prescribed timeframe results in the automatic award of the points.
Yeah, there are still monetary fines to pay along with the points you will get. So they will bend you over twice.
Everyone starts with zero idiot points on their driving record and based on how much of a "cacahole" driver you are you can accumulate points which have different penalties attached aka suspension of your licence.
The threshold for suspensions are broken into two categories; newbies (12 months or less with a licence) and experienced idiots. For newbies, if you accumulate 7 or more points your licence can be suspended for 1year. For experienced idiots, if you accumulate 10 or more points your suspension could range from 6 months to 2 years based on how "chupid" you were.
These "fully dunce" points stay on your driving record for a period of 2 years or the length of your suspension. If you happen to be one of the geniuses that were suspended you may be required to do a course or retake the driving test to regain the opportunity to once again be an idiot on the road.
I'm not going to get into the full list of violations that could get you idiot points but I will outline some of the more interesting ones. Sadly, just being a taxi driver doesn't get you any, even though I think they should start at about 5pts by default because they just can't help themselves. The H stands for Horrible driver.
The driver or any passenger 17 years or older not wearing seatbelts = 4 pts. So if you and your gyal/man arguing in the car and they get vex they could take off their seatbelt and set you up in a road block.
Exceeding the speed limit by different amounts results in idiot points ranging from 0 to 6 depending on how heavy yuh foot was. This is useful for those drivers that somehow just "lose control" of their vehicles and end up wrapped around a light pole. Then the innocent light pole gets the blame for liming too close to the road.
Careless driving = 6pts. Not sure how they're judging that but I feel driving a Tiida with your arm extended like you trying to touch the ground as if you playing Jacks or driving and drying your dreadlocks outside the driver's window should qualify.
Driving without a valid inspection sticker = 9pts. So imagine you're a new driver, yuh making your first Trinicty Mall run to coast on your friends that yuh "zessing", yuh borrow mammy Nissan Wingroad and she ain't get it inspected. Guess what, you might end up having to take a bus route maxi home and lose your licence.
If you want to see the full list of "dunciness" for which you can get idiot points, including parking like a "clong", you can check out www.drivingtt.com.
In conclusion, there's no need to panic. Once you don't drive like a fool there is nothing to worry about. It's the same way I view things like them increasing the laws on gun possession and getting bail. By all means make it harder for the criminals. For the rest of us, just follow the laws and you'll be aight.