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Driving points rules relaxed

Licence points lost for minor offences will be regained after two years instead of three

DRIVERS will now be able to recover all their lost driving licence points after two years without offences.

Parliament has voted through the legal change, which cuts the period from the current three. French licences start with 12 points, which are progressively lost for offences, until the licence is invalidated.

President Sarkozy had opposed changes, saying he did not want to send a "lax" message to drivers and Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux had proposed an alternative system allowing for one point a year to be recovered.

However the two-year period will apply only to points lost for minor offences, notably going slightly over the speed limit.

Anything considered either a delit (a medium-level crime) or a type four or five contravention (the upper end of petty crimes) will remain at three.

This includes serious speeding offences and drink driving, but also going through red lights or not respecting rules of priority.

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