Which Driving Offences Receive Double Demerits 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 holiday periods and long weekends.

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 NSW Easter awareness campaign from last year, which has a curious horror movie vibe:

And this year's slightly cheeky take from NSW Police's Twitter account:

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:

NSW

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 29 March to Monday 2 April inclusive.

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.

ACT

Double demerit points for the Easter period will apply from Thursday, 29 March, to Monday, 2 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.

Double demerits apply to all speeding, seatbelt, riding without a helmet and mobile phone offences. An additional demerit point applies for all other traffic offences.

During the 2017 Easter long weekend, ACT Policing Traffic Operation members issued 246 Traffic Infringement Notices, with 105 for excessing speed. The highest speed recorded was 140 km/h in an 80 km/h zone.

Queensland:

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:

From Thursday 29 March to Monday 2 April 2018 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
  • 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!


Comments

    If I hold a Victorian license and get busted speeding in NSW (hypothetically, of course) - what's the scoop with double demerits?

      That's an interesting question, I'd assume you'd get the NSW punishment since that's where it occurred and they "share" information. But I wouldn't bank on it.

      I don't think that twitter message is appropriate either. They're advertising a serious thing and they make a joke about it.

      Double demerit points can also apply when school zones are in operation during holiday periods.

      I'd like to know how the hell that works? I mean the whole point of it being a holiday means that school is out. So surely the school zone is no longer a school zone during that period?

        I'd like to know how the hell that works? I mean the whole point of it being a holiday means that school is out. So surely the school zone is no longer a school zone during that period?

        If the school zone has a permanent 40 speed sign its a school zone 24/7. They have them at schools with public ovals and playgrounds kids can still access out of school hours. Thats why.

          I'd have thought that's not technically a school zone then, it's "just" a 40 zone. I thought the whole point of calling it a "school zone" was because the speed limit there is flexible and changes during the day depending on whether kids are likely to be crossing the road or not.

            I think youd have to contact your local police station to find out more. The rule of thumb though is that if its a school do 40 unless otherwise stated.

              Hmm maybe you have different style school zones to us. All of the ones I've seen (in QLD) are signed with a big "40" then in the fine print, "During school hours 7-9 and 2-4". There's also one locally with flashing lights that remind you when it's active. They weren't flashing all weekend or today (Tuesday which is still school holidays).

              This is one of the problems with having different rules state by state. If you go interstate you could be following your home rules perfectly but be breaking the law where you are.

      I think the general rule of thumb is that the laws are applied as per the state they are committed in, regardless of what state your license is.

    Gotta love the WA police statement. No messing, no fluffy language, just straight to it.

    Double XP weekend..... perhaps I should make this comment on the Kotaku site... :)

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