More than 100 people have died on NSW roads this year alone and police are urging drivers to think twice before getting behind the wheel over the Easter and Anzac Day long weekends.
Double demerits will be enforced in NSW from 12am on Thursday, April 18 through to midnight on Monday, April 22 for the Easter period and will be in place again for Anzac Day from 12am on Wednesday, April 24 to midnight on Sunday, April 28.
This means this month there will be a total of 10 days where double demerit penalties will be in place.
Not all states and territories are equal when it comes to double demerit points though (see below). Only NSW and ACT have double demerit points in place during holiday periods. Victoria has never had double demerits.
April’s busy holiday period is one of the worst times for road fatalities and with the NSW toll already at 119 deaths (as of April 15) police will be taking a hard line approach to speeding and drink driving offenders.
Double demerits apply for speeding, seatbelt, riding without a helmet and mobile phone offences. An additional demerit point applies for all other traffic offences.
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In September last year, the NSW government introduced harsher penalties for drivers caught using their phones, increasing the demerit point penalty from four to five points and a $337 fine.
Drivers caught using their phones during a double demerit period can expect to be hit with the fine as well as copping up to 10 demerits.
Drivers planning on not wearing a seatbelt will be penalised with six demerits and $337 which could increase to 12 demerits and $1422 if four or more passengers are also unrestrained.
Drivers caught speeding will also be penalised two demerits and a fine of $119 but this could increase to 12 demerits and $2435 depending on the severity of the offence.
Motorbike riders caught without a helmet will face a $337 and be issued six demerits or a massive 18 demerits and a $1757 fine if stopped with four or more unhelmeted passengers, according to the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) website.
Every driver should know if you are caught breaking the law during the holiday period there is a greater risk of losing your licence.
The double demerit period also applies to drivers in the ACT, with double demerits in place from Thursday, April 18 to Monday, April 22.
Unlike other states and territories in Queensland, double demerit points don’t apply during holiday periods. Instead they are applied to repeat offenders that increase the road safety risk to themselves and other road users.
Double demerits apply all year round for these repeat offenders as a way of discouraging dangerous driving.
Double demerits will be in force for Easter on Thursday, April 18 to Monday, April 22. No double demerits will be issued over the Anzac holiday as it falls on a Thursday.
Double demerit periods aren’t used in Victoria.
Like Victoria, South Australia doesn’t have double demerit periods.