The Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act was amended in 2017, and brought the Judiciary, representatives of the Ministry of Works and Transport, the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Legal Affairs, the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, TTPost and other stakeholders into a collaborative working relationship, to implement a new traffic system.
The Demerit Points System – utilised to monitor, track and improve the road behaviour of drivers, was conceived and implemented as a part of this transformative traffic system.
How does the Demerit Points System work?
- Demerit points are electronically calculated and recorded on driving permit records.
- Everyone starts with zero (0) demerit points on their driving permit record.
- A person can accumulate demerit points on their driving permit record, for committing certain traffic violations and offences which carry demerit points.
- The more traffic violations or offences that are committed – such as speeding, unauthorised use of the Priority Bus Route, or Driving Under the Influence of alcohol (DUI), the more demerit points that are electronically accumulated on a person’s driving permit record.
- Depending on the total amount of demerit points accumulated within a specified period, this could result in the suspension of a person’s driver’s permit, as well as other consequences.
- Note: There are no demerit points for traffic violations detected by automated cameras e.g. red-light and spot speed cameras.
How does the Demerit Points System affect me as a driver?
- Every driver starts with zero (0) demerit points on his/her driving permit record.
- The vast majority of the traffic offenses and violations form part of the Traffic Ticketing System and the Demerit Points System.
- Demerit points are placed on a person’s driving permit record only after payment of a Traffic Ticket.
- Failure to pay the Traffic Ticket and/or contest the Traffic Ticket within the prescribed time frame; or conviction before a court for a traffic violation or offence that carries demerit points, will result in demerit points being placed on a person’s driving permit record.
- Demerit Points will stay on your record for a maximum of two (2) years.
- Once two (2) consecutive years have passed without the driver accumulating additional demerit points, these points will automatically be removed from his/her driving permit record.
- If a driver reaches their maximum threshold of demerit points according to the law, he or she can be disqualified from driving for a specified period.
- For the purpose of administering demerit points and disqualification periods, there is a distinction between:
- A newly licensed driver or provisional permit holder (an individual who holds their driving permit for a period of twelve (12) months or less from the date of issue).
- An experienced driver (an individual who holds their driving permit for a period of more than twelve (12) months from the date of issue).
Demerit Points for Traffic Violations and Offenses
Please see the table below for a listing of traffic violations and offenses that carry Demerit Points under the Ninth Schedule located under the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act, tab on the homepage.