Double demerits will be in full force in select states and territories this long weekend. Stuff up just once and you could lose your licence. We explain where double demerits apply and the various traffic offences that are included.
Long weekends are a bad time for road fatalities - so police will be cracking down on motorists with double demerit points over the Labour Day weekend. The double demerit system was implemented in a bid to encourage drivers to obey road rules during busy traffic periods.
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.
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:
Operation Slow Down, the long weekend road safety enforcement operation, starts at 12.01am on Friday 28 September 2018 and concludes at 11.59pm on Monday 1 October 2018.
Double demerits will be in force throughout the period for speeding, seatbelt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences. As Friday is a designated school day, an additional demerit point on top of double demerits will also apply to all relevant school zone offences committed on that day.
If you commit speeding, seatbelt/helmet, mobile phone and certain other offences during the period Friday 28th September – Monday 1st October 2018 inclusive, Double Demerit Points will apply.
If you commit other traffic offences which have demerit points, one extra demerit point will be added.
The Labour Day holiday weekend is a Double Demerit Point period in the ACT.
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.
Double demerit points will be enforced by WA Police Force and apply to speeding, drink and drug driving, mobile phone, red light and set belt offences from midnight tonight until midnight Monday. (Friday 21 September to Monday 24 September 2018 inclusive.)
So there you have it. Queensland, ACT and NSW drivers need to keep their guard up this weekend. Drive safe, guys!