Double demerit points now in force in NSW, ACT, Western Australia

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Double demerit points start today in some parts of Australia. Here’s how police in each state will enforce road rules across this holiday season.

Double demerit points come into force today for New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Western Australia.

They will stay in place until 11:59pm Monday 1 January in NSW and the ACT, but will continue through to 7 January in Western Australia.

“NSW Police are encouraging motorists to travel through the holiday season with safety at top of mind, towards a better 2024,” the NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Command said on social media.

“The holiday period is traditionally the busiest time of the year on NSW roads and Traffic and Highway Patrol Command officers will be working together with local police to target all road-related offences, including drink and drug driving, distractions, fatigue, and other dangerous behaviours that risk road users’ safety.”

Double-demerit penalties do not apply to all driving offences, but specifically target speeding and major road rule breaches.

In New South Wales and the ACT, it means drivers caught speeding, using a mobile phone illegally or not wearing a seatbelt will have twice as many demerit points applied to their licence over the holidays.

For example, the penalty for a fully-licensed driver breaking the speed limit by 10km/h or less increases from a single demerit point to two demerit points.

Exceeding the speed limit by more than 10km/h increases from three to six demerit points.

Double points also apply for L-plate and P-plate drivers, which makes it easy for a licence to be suspended after only a single infringement.

In Western Australia, double demerit point penalties are applied to further offences including drink driving and running a red light. That is in addition to speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and illegal use of a mobile phone.

Queensland is the only other part of Australia to enforce double demerit points, however it applies the same penalties all year to drivers who commit two or more applicable offences in a 12-month period.

In Victoria – which is facing its highest road toll in 15 years – as well as South Australia and Tasmania, there are no double demerit points in force over the Christmas and holiday season.

For example, a Victorian-licensed driver will not have double demerits applied for an infringement in New South Wales.

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