Double demerits this weekend

Drivers are reminded that double demerit points are in force for traffic offences this Labour Day long weekend. PHOTO: RTA/RMS

MOTORISTS are reminded that double demerit points apply for speeding, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences during this Labour Day long weekend.

“Long weekends are always busy on NSW roads with thousands of people using the car for short breaks or to visit family and friends,” a Transport for NSW spokesperson said.

Double demerit points will be in place from Friday, September 28, to Monday, October 1, inclusive.

The spokesperson said double demerit point periods exist to give drivers even more reason to drive safely. During long weekends the roads are busier so there is an increased risk of crashes and fatalities.

The most common offences subject to double demerit points are:

  • exceed speed limit by not more than 10km/h – 2 points
  • exceed speed limit by 11-20km/h – 6 points
  • exceed speed limit by 21-30km/h – 8 points
  • exceed speed limit by 31-45km/h – 10 points and licence suspension
  • exceed speed limit by more than 45km/h – 12 points and licence suspension
  • driver not wearing own seatbelt – 6 points
  • driver with passengers not wearing seatbelt – minimum 6 points
  • motorcycle rider without own helmet – 6 points
  • motorcycle rider with a passenger not wearing a helmet – minimum 6 points.

P-plate drivers especially need to drive carefully as they are at greater risk of losing their licence if they break the law during the double demerit period.

“Double demerit point periods save lives and reduce the road toll, but there are also other simple steps motorists can take to help keep themselves, their passengers and others safe on the roads,” the spokesperson said.

“Don’t drink or take drugs before you drive, make sure you and your passengers are wearing seatbelts or helmets and drive to the speed limit.

“Don’t rush to your destination. Speeding or driving while fatigued just to arrive a little bit earlier can have devastating consequences. Allow extra time to get to your destination and arrive safely.”

According to provisional data, there were 367 recorded crashes on NSW roads during the 2011 Labour Day long weekend double demerit period. These crashes resulted in five people being killed and injuries to 221 people.

Motorists also need to make sure they recognise the early warning signs of fatigue and take regular breaks while driving.

“If you notice your eyes are getting tired or you’re yawning, feeling drowsy or having trouble concentrating on driving, ensure you stop and rest,” the spokesperson said.

“These are all signs you might be in danger of having a microsleep and losing control of your vehicle, which may have fatal consequences.

“Avoid driving at times when you would normally be sleeping, make sure you have had plenty of sleep before you start a long journey and, if possible, share the driving.”

The ‘Stop, Revive, Survive’ message is as important as ever.

Take regular breaks from driving. There are more than 1400 rest areas across the state. Many have toilets, picnic tables, barbeque facilities, playgrounds and shaded areas to help refresh travellers before continuing their journeys.

There will be 66 Driver Reviver sites operating throughout the state until 8 October. To view locations and operating times, as well as rest area locations, visit Roads and Maritime Services Link to external site.

Motorists can prepare for long weekend road trips by checking traffic conditions online, over the phone on 132 701,  or by downloading the Live Traffic smartphone app.

About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.


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