Madrid, 23rd February 2017. PONS Seguridad Vial, a leading company in strategic public and private consulting in mobility, has gathered the main promoters of the penalty points driving licence system (“Permiso por Puntos”) in Spain at the Fundación PONS headquarters. They were gathered in order to realise a balance in its application, effects and possibilities of revision or restoration after coming into effect 10 years previously and after achieving a reduction of 59% in the number of deaths in Spain.
The event counted on the attendance of Jordi Jané, the current Councillor of Inner Affairs of the Regional Government of Catalonia and Chairman of the Road Safety Congress during the run-up and first years of implementation of the Permiso por Puntos system. Also participating in the event were: Javier Villalba (current Head of the Regulatory Management Unit of the DGT – Department of Traffic), Pedro Calvo (former Mobility Councillor of Madrid Council), and Chantal Perrichon (Head of the League against Violence on the Roads in France). The latter offered her vision on the French model in which the points system of Spain is inspired. Along with them were the public representatives in the implementation of the Permiso por Puntos system in 2006 headed up by Pere Navarro (former director of the DGT and current patron of Fundación PONS), Ramón Ledesma (current Consultant at PONS Seguridad Vial and former Assistant Director General for Regulations at DGT), and Antoni Riu (former Assistant Director General of Education, Disclosure and Road Training at the DGT).
Shara Martín, General Manager of PONS Seguridad Vial, welcomed those in attendance and reminded them of the motives behind the event. “We want to do our part with the experience and knowledge accumulated over many years to together achieve, once again, that the number of traffic victims in Spain is reduced. Let’s not forget that this is a task for everyone”, she indicated the time and set the “attainable and realistic” policy goal of “a 20% reduction in deaths caused by traffic accidents in 2020”.
Jordi Jané, Councillor of Inner Affairs of the Regional Government of Catalonia, then continued by thanking Fundación PONS for the invitation to inaugurate these events. Jané referred to the success of the Permiso por Puntos through providing traffic accident statistics which show the change that has been produced in road accident rates at this time: “in the year 2002, the year in which we started to talk about the Permiso por Puntos, the number of traffic victims in Spain was of 5,347 people with an average of 15 victims per day. Today we’ve come very far from those statistics, which shows that the measures that we have adopted have worked”, he stated. Lastly the head of Road Safety policies in Catalonia set an objective as he brought his speech to a close: “we aim to reduce the number of deaths in 2020 by 50% compared to 2010. At the moment we have achieved a reduction of 31.9%. It is a challenge, but we want to achieve it”.
For his part Pere Navarro, patron of the Foundation PONS, during the debate on the revision of the regulations of the Permiso por Puntos recalled that all similar European standards have had at least one modification and that it is “good practice” to improve it over time. He also advocated the implementation of a “pedagogical and simple” discussion on the debate and its modification, as well as the importance of the collaboration between the municipalities and the media to promote social awareness.
Also, Navarro assured that “it is not true” that the Permiso por Puntos will lower the number of deaths seeing as the main merit of the regulations was to achieve “a change in habits and safer behaviours”.
Ramón Ledesma, Consultant at PONS Seguridad and former Assistant Director-General of Management Regulations at DGT, reiterated the importance of applying an efficient control system to enforce the regulations, “where the general mass of drivers in circulation know that those who do it pay, and they pay quickly”.
The event came to a close with a debate between all the participants, moderated by the reporter Manel Vilaseró. Here the need was declared to “be able to count on every institution” to bring about a reform of that magnitude – for example that of the Permiso por Puntos. Everyone also agreed on the need to take into account the “enormous” changes that are taking place in society in terms of mobility habits in order to adjust the regulations to that reality, taking into account that in the near future, according to Ramón Ledesma, “one in every two victims in 2025 will come from vehicles driven on two wheels”.
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