Reminder: Double Demerit Points This Easter Long Weekend

Reminder: Double Demerit Points This Easter Long Weekend
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The Easter holiday period is a bad time for road fatalities – so police will be cracking down on motorists in select states and territories. We explain where double demerits apply and the various traffic offences they apply to.

The demerit point system was implemented in a bid to encourage drivers to obey road rules during busy traffic periods. It occurs on select public holidays and holiday periods, with Christmas being the most notable.

As the name of the scheme implies, demerit points are doubled during this period for the offences of speeding, illegal use of mobile phones, not wearing a seatbelt and riding without a motorcycle helmet. Other traffic offences can also incur additional penalties during this period.

By law, double demerits must be advertised to motorists prior to occurring. Here’s the 2017 Easter awareness campaign for NSW which has a curious horror movie vibe:

Currently, the double demerit system is practised in Queensland, Western Australia, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Here’s what each state is doing over the Easter period, according to official police statements:


Get caught speeding, illlegally using your mobile phone, not using a seatbelt or helmet this holiday period, and you’ll face double the consequences. Double demerits are in force Thursday 13 April to Monday 17 April inclusive. (Midnight Wednesday 12 April to midnight Monday 17 April.)

Double demerit points apply for speeding, seatbelt, motorcycle helmet and mobile phone offences. Certain driving and parking offences attract an additional demerit point if committed in an operating school zone. Double demerit points can also apply when school zones are in operation during holiday periods. If you commit a speed, seatbelt or helmet offence during this combined period, the demerit point value applying for the school zone will be doubled.


Double demerit points for the Easter period will apply from Thursday, 17 April, to Monday, 21 April. Six demerit points can be applied to the licence of any driver who does not wear a seatbelt or who permits passengers under 16 years of age to travel in a vehicle unrestrained.

If drivers exceed the speed limit this Easter period by more than 15km/h and up to 30km/h, 6 demerit points will be applied, while exceeding the speed limit by 45 km/h or more will result in 12 demerit points being applied and the risk of licence suspension.

In addition, drivers who commit other offences, such as running red lights or failing to stop at stop signs, will receive one extra demerit point on top of the usual number applied.


In Queensland, double demerit points are applied to persons who repeatedly commit specific offences that increase the road safety risk to the person themselves or other road users. Double demerit points apply all year round for these repeat offenders as a way of discouraging dangerous driving behaviours on a continuing basis.

Double demerit points are allocated for certain second or subsequent driver seatbelt offences, motorbike helmet offences and offences for speeding more than 20km/h over the speed limit, that are committed within 1 year of a previous offence. Double demerit points also apply for second or subsequent mobile phone offences that are committed by drivers within 1 year of an earlier offence.

A person does not necessarily have to commit the same type of offence a second or subsequent time to be allocated double demerit points. A second or subsequent offence only needs to be within the same offence group for the person to accumulate double demerit points.

Western Australia:

Double demerit points apply from midnight Wednesday until midnight on Monday. (Thursday 13 April to Monday 17 April 2017 inclusive.)

The following offences are subject to Double Demerits: Drink or drug driving, speeding, failing to wear a seat belt and child restraint, running a red light and illegal use of a mobile phone while driving.

So there you have it. WA, Queensland, ACT and NSW drivers need to keep their guard up this weekend. Drive safe, guys!


    • I agree, but what is your opinion on overtaking in a safe to do so spot but requires you to do 115 to get around in a timely fashion and as you are pulling back in to your lane you’re flashed for it?
      The laws need changing. I can’t do it. Wouldn’t know where to start. But a lot of it is far too draconian.

      • Fair point!

        According to road traffic handbooks you will need a clear road ahead of at least two kilometres to overtake a 23 metre truck travelling at 100 km/h on a two-way road with a 110km/h speed limit. I agree with you that nearly everyone will exceed that speed limit in order to get around in a timely fashion, unless of course, they have a death wish.

        However, the police do have discretionary powers and hopefully they would exercise a little common sense in such cases.

        • Couple of things. The demerit system, which is administrated as a separate punishment for the same offense by the NON STATUTORY state Dept of Trans, was introduced to net those for whom fines were largely irrelevant (ie richer drivers) & continued speeding etc, NOT to ‘encourage’ compliance more so than the fines system. It is a state ‘legal’ although unconstitutional, leverage over the motorist for relatively minor stuff generally, no matter how the Police & their proxy “Road Safety Councils” promote it. Secondly, discretion? Although I am all for Police or Magistrate discretion because they are coal-face workers, the ‘SYSTEM’ is NOT discretionary & allows very little (ie 2kms/hr either way maybe) significant discretion. Politicians LIKE it that way in their lust for cash.

        • >nearly everyone will exceed that speed limit
          you’ve found the one guy who will just stay behind the truck and keep following it at 100Km/h (with his adaptive cruise), and doesn’t need to break the law.

          • Easter long weekend has now been and gone, I overtook a total of 3 vehicles. All of which were travelling well under the 110km speed limit at the over taking lanes.
            For the rest of the time I was happy to sit at 100 -+ 10 following other vehicles in a long procession.
            Lost count of the number of overly ambitious 4WD owners trying to get to the same place at a much higher rate of knots. There was even a head on collision on that stretch of road which shut the highway down for 12 hours and the very next day everyone was driving like lunatics to get home again.
            I make this same drive occasionally on weekends when it isn’t double demerits and over take cars on long straights when I know the over taking lane is quite a ways away, but with Double Demerits as a deterrent for such a small increase in speed to safely over take I just won’t do it. No sirree bob.

  • Agreed with the comment above.

    Questions about times and grammar:

    Double demerits are in force Thursday 13 April to Monday 17 April inclusive. (Midnight Wednesday 12 April to midnight Monday 17 April.

    I always understood that midnight was the start of the new day. ie 23:59 was the previous day, 00:00 was the next. but the above article says my understanding have always been wrong, 00:00 is still the previous day and 00:01 is the next?

    • Although I reckon you’re splitting hairs with such a narrow view of time this is probably exactly a ‘discretionary’ situation. The cop on the ground, being a real live human rather than an android or a robot camera, may warn & let it slide, in the context of whatever offense is involved, whether 2 or 3 mins either way. A ‘machine’ gets you in a moment of low concentration, especially around midnight (ie fixed or red-light cameras) well, you’d better be BELOW 9k over (in SOME states).

    • A day ends at 00:00! The next day starts straight after that viz, at 00:00.0001. So, to that extent the article is correct. And Kelvinate you have misunderstood numbers. To illustrate, there cannot be a nil year or time as such. Twelve midnight is the apex of the “24” hour day. Imagine time as a circle – if you had no degrees in it, you would not have anything to perceive. Joe

  • Look, I know ACT is a bit strange sometimes, but they don’t even seem to be using the same calendar as the rest of us!

  • Generally, without getting into all the ‘road safety’ hullaballoo, as an older driver, who is largely invisible to Police, I am perturbed at the bureaucratic march to road safety ‘external’ enforcement, because 1, it makes money (almost $1 BILLION fined last year!), & 2 because ‘systems’ never see ANY down side to this enforcement. Although the toll, which is inaccurately only measured by deaths for the ‘media’ rather than ‘injuries’ or collisions (ie insurance) & has largely remained static or even risen is ALWAYS the justification. May I humbly suggest your BILLION’s ‘down side’ is reflected in your idle young, your ‘drug’ problem & your young people’s interest in random violence. Between 15 & 25 is a narrow window to get your young occupied in a trade or work or study to carry them through a productive life. Your love of taking away ANY chance of ‘runs’ during that window (ie licence cancellation or suspension every 5 mins) makes them give up. No wonder you have a problem with the young who ‘give up’. I would probably also if I was their age. Review YOUR system.

  • Reminder, if you lose points you are incapable of controlling a motor vehicle and the licence you obtained was not a right but a privilege and you are breaking a contract, the one you signed when accepted the licence.
    You accepted the licence and accepted that you would comply with all the rules of the road on which you drive a vehicle.
    When driving a vehicle and not complying with the rules of the road you are subjecting every other vehicle driver who is complying with the road rules to damage of his vehicle, injury or death to the driver and passengers in that vehicle plus adding stress and possible loss of time, money and income of other road users.
    Any driver who receives demerit points is a bl’oo’dy ID’I’OT, is selfish, ill-mannered, inconsiderate, disrespectful, ignorant of rules and laws, illiterate and should have the driving licence removed until it is proven that a licence is deserved and the person IS capable of controlling a vehicle and complying with every road rule in the book.
    Collisions, (NEVER ACCIDENTS, the wimpy excuse of fools) collisions, crashes are caused by the nut holding the steering wheel.
    GIVE THE POLICE A HOLIDAY, drive within the rules and understand YOUR OWN lack of ability to correctly control a motor vehicle.

    • I can tell, you like rules. I like rules too, they’re useful. In an office having a sheet of ‘protocols’ or a swear jar helps keep things ‘civilized’. But there is a word called pedantic, there is another called oppressive & finally in a business environment there is downright counter-productive. If in an office, it is irresponsible to go to work when you are contagiously sick, the rules say so. But would you consider it reasonable to SACK someone for sneezing at work without telling the boss? Your licence argument used to be valid 40 years ago. It USED to be a level of competence of controlling a vehicle on public roads. No longer. It is now a bureaucratic weapon to extract, by threat (legally its called leverage something cops do to get criminals to confess) money for the feeding of ever growing public services. Statistically, especially with ‘low grade offences’, your argument does not stack up at all, as people continue to get fined for EXACTLY these offences in ever increasing numbers. Are you stating that ALL those who get fined are ‘idiots’? How about jailing these idiots? But of course, you know & I know & the Police know, that IF you tried that your economy would grind to a halt because your truck drivers, taxi drivers, courier drivers, tradies & yes even emergency drivers would be taken off the road & you wouldn’t be able to buy bread. As I said $1 BILLION dollars into Govt coffers ON TOP of your taxes & away from EMPLOYING people (who give up & if under 25 good luck getting them to contribute at 40+) for largely MINOR nothings which make NO difference anyway. Again, review your system because it does have a serious downside & you are CHOOSING to not look at it like any good politician.

    • The ‘fine’ notice is a legal ‘allegation’. A camera flashed your vehicle for a statutory defined infringement of a statutory defined road rule. Should you agree with all on the notice, when it arrives in 2 weeks or so, then you can CHOOSE to pay the fine which doesn’t double because it is statutory & defined in law as a penalty & in doing so you will trigger ‘demerits’ penalty IF one exists. That is ‘administrative’ by your transport department is is not statutory & can be ‘arbitrarily’ increased at what the ‘authorities’ consider appropriate times without going through altering any laws. Sneaky, but there it is. Remember if you pay the fine, you agree to it, & it is legally perceived as if you were in front of a Magistrate pleading guilty for THAT offence. The only difference for most, especially minor offences, if contested in court which is your right, is that the offence becomes part of your traffic record. But in context, I once saw a record of a truck driver who had 6 pages of ‘record’ but when the Magistrate asked how many kms he did (ie 600,000+kms a year) he treated the record as irrelevant because it was largely minor stuff with no ‘drink driving & such.

  • Does u turn at traffic light carry double demerit points in NSW which is not in school Zone.

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