GRTU Malta Chamber of SMEs once again states that it has always agreed with the principles behind the penalty point system and that greater care and safety on the road was also in the interest of business, GRTU expresses grave concern on its implementation.
The penalty point system has turned out to be yet another piece of blinkered legislation that places a disproportionate burden on business owners in the most unjust manner. The rash law has unfortunately generated more than a few teething problems and, as GRTU had warned, led to serious consequences.
Since the introduction of the penalty point system, GRTU has been in discussions with the relevant authorities and respective Ministries to try and tackle the various issues the system is causing to our members. Two months down the line, progress achieved have so far been minimal and the authorities appear to be taking the issue lightly while people are losing their license for contraventions they did not commit.
Those which own a considerable amount of vehicles or have registered company vehicles under their name as natural persons are being held liable for breaches they did not make and receiving driving license revocation letters for contraventions incurred by third parties.
Business owners have been placed in a position where they have to prove their innocence for contraventions they did not incur. This includes submission of hundreds of declaration forms and agreements every year, a heavy bureaucratic exercise, and having to convince third parties to admit and take on the responsibility of the penalty points on their name, something that can even result in having to take legal action if the party refuses to own up.
To add insult to injury, the fact that points are being directed to vehicle owners when the vehicles are not stopped, goes against the spirit of the law that clearly states that the penalty points may only be invoked on the driver and not the owner of the vehicle. The Ministers responsible have publicly guaranteed that penalty points will be only be incurred when the vehicle is stopped, with the only exception being speed cameras, yet GRTU can confirm that this is entirely not the case on the ground.
The most recent case of an owner losing his license is due to the lowest speed violation, failure to comply with a directional sign and failure to comply with a stop sign. All of these contraventions were not made by the enterprise owner, in all instances the vehicle was not stopped as required and the owner has received notice that his license is being revoked. This is not the only case GRTU is aware of.
GRTU has always insisted that the necessary infrastructure had to be properly in place before the system is implemented in order to cater for employers. GRTU therefore urges the relevant authorities to address these shortcomings without any further delay. GRTU also urges its members to bring to its attention any similar cases.
GRTU will be meeting both TM and LESA officials this week in a final attempt to iron our issues amicably.