The Double Demerit Dates You Need To Know For Christmas
If you're planning on cruising around NSW, the ACT or Western Australia during the Christmas and New Year period, be warned -- it's double demerits time.
Using a phone while driving, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and riding a motorbike without a helmet will all attract double demerit penalties during this period.
Drivers caught using their phones will not only be fined but face up to 10 demerits.
Last week it was revealed more than 3300 motorists in NSW had been nabbed using their mobile phones behind the wheel in the first week of the state's mobile detection camera program.
The world-first technology has checked 773,532 vehicles and counting.
A trial of 8.5 million car checks, that ran between January and June, caught more than 100,000 motorists using a mobile phone illegally.
Roads Minister Andrew Constance said people need to understand that driving with a mobile phone is "one of the most reckless and stupid things you can do".
"Not only can you kill yourself, you can kill others," Constance said.
"If you look down at 60 kilometres per hour you're going to travel 33 metres in about two seconds. That's a lot of roadway without anybody paying any attention."
A three-month "grace period" means the drivers caught using mobile phones will receive a warning letter.
Once that ends drivers will receive a $344 fine - or $457 if caught in a school zone - as well as five demerit points or 10 during double demerit periods.
Western Australia will also enforce double demerits until January 5, 2020.
“We want everyone to enjoy the holidays with their loved ones but to also consider their responsibility to share the roads safely and be mindful of their actions when driving on our roads," Iain Cameron, WA Road Safety Council Chairman, told 10 daily.
“Be prepared for your trip by getting a good night’s rest and sharing the driving with a friend or family member. Stay alert and be aware of the road conditions and what is happening around you.”
“The consequences of road trauma are far-reaching and ongoing, with the ripple effect felt by loved ones left behind, friends, colleagues and whole communities who care for those with life-altering injuries and emergency service and health personnel who respond to road crashes," he said.
Queensland takes a different approach to double demerits, applying them all year round in certain circumstances.
Drivers who repeatedly commit specific offences within a 12-month period will incur double demerit points for subsequent offences.
Those offences include speeding more than 20 kph over the limit, mobile phone offences, driver seatbelt offences and motorcycle helmet offences.
Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory do not have double demerit rules during the Christmas holiday period.