The Gibraltar Parliament has paved the way for fixed speed cameras and penalty points for driving offences after unanimously approving an amendment to the Traffic Act.
The Minister for Transport and Traffic, Paul Balban, set out the particulars of the Bill during Friday’s session of Parliament.
The Bill enables the prescription of fixed speeding cameras which have been installed at various locations throughout Gibraltar.
The speed cameras have been placed in consultation with the Royal Gibraltar Police which, Mr Balban said, are the experts on the ground when it comes to recognising speeding hotspots.
The ability to designate what offences will attract penalty points is also something that is set out in the legislation.
It also allows for the disqualification of drivers who accumulate a certain number of points, Mr Balban said although he did not state what that would be.
Mr Balban further announced provision for the road-side testing of drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Additionally, the Bill includes new provisions to ascertain the identity of the driver and, in particular, the duty to provide information as to the identity of the driver when requested to do so.
Failure to provide such information is an offence in its own right, Mr Balban said.
With regards to fixed cameras, Mr Balban told MPs that there is no certainty that the identity of the driver will be apparent.
“It is therefore necessary to have necessary to have a mechanism whereby there is an element of compulsion in order to establish the facts,” he said.
Provision for businesses that may have a fleet of vehicles and a number of drivers capable of driving such vehicles is also enclosed within the legislation.
The new legislation was welcomed by the GSD Opposition, in particular the measures that will allow for the introduction of fixed speed cameras and penalty points.
Trevor Hammond said: “Hotspots have been identified by the RGP, people will know where the cameras are and they will know there is no escaping a penalty if they speed in those areas.”
“The introduction of a points regime is also welcome it will hopefully curb repeat offenders and so overall I congratulate the Minister for a good piece of legislation.”