Australia, double penalties: warning for thousands ahead of public holiday as severe penalties remain
Warning to thousands of drivers ahead of a public holiday as heavy double penalties are imposed – here’s how to avoid getting a huge fine
- Warning to thousands of drivers as heavy double penalties are imposed
- Motorists driving on the highway during the holiday season have been asked to remain vigilant
- NSW and ACT exploit double demerit points from December 24th to January 3rd
- Western Australia’s dual penal regime will last from the same day until January 9
- Jurisdictions across Australia warn of increased police presence over Christmas
Thousands of motorists in NSW and ACT have been given an urgent warning ahead of the holiday as brutal double penalties continue to be imposed.
Drivers are urged to be extra vigilant as traffic violations such as speeding or using a mobile phone while driving will be penalized with double demerit points from 12.01am 24th December to 11:59pm 3 January.
Those caught driving with two or more unbraked passengers in the car will incur 12 penalty points and may even lose their driver’s license.
Motorists caught using their cellphones while driving will get 10 points, while those exceeding the speed limit by more than 45 km/h will get 12 points, one less than the state limit.
Thousands of motorists have received an urgent warning on their return from interstate celebrations and double criminal penalties are still applied (stock image)
Police will punish drivers who break one of the four D’s: drink, drugs, dangerous or distracted driving as thousands return home from Christmas interstate (photo, Sydney police)
Police will punish drivers who break one of the four D’s: drink, drugs, dangerous or distracted driving, as thousands return home from the Christmas interstate.
DOUBLE PENALTIES IN NSW:
Exceed the speed limit by 10 km/h and less (2 points)
Exceed the speed limit by more than 10 km/h (6 points)
Exceed the speed limit by more than 20 km/h (8 points)
Exceed the speed limit by more than 30 km/h (10 points)
Exceed the speed limit by more than 45 km/h (12 points)
Driver not wearing their own seat belt (6 points)
Driver fine for any passenger not wearing a seat belt (6 points)
Rider on a motorcycle not wearing his/her own helmet (6 points)
Rider fine for passenger on a motorcycle not wearing a helmet (6 points)
Using a mobile phone while driving (8 points)
Source: NSW Police
In NSW and the ACT, drivers lose their license for three months after accumulating 13 demerit points, while in Western Australia it is 12 points.
WA residents are subject to an even stricter set of double-penalty rules that can be enforced from Christmas Eve to January 9.
The offenses covered by the dual criminal law include driving under the influence of alcohol, not wearing a seat belt, driving a red light and illegally using a mobile phone.
Motorists caught using a scrambler device – which is used to block a speed camera – can face 14 penalty points.
Drivers in WA who exceed the speed limit by less than 19 km/h incur four penalty points, while using a cell phone while driving is worth six points.
In the ACT, exceeding the speed limit by less than 15 km/h results in two penalty points, while using a mobile device is equivalent to eight.
Queensland, Victoria, the Northern Territory and South Australia do not have specific dual penalty systems during the Christmas period.
However, drivers in all Australian states have been warned to be careful of additional police presence to deter dangerous drivers.
Queenslanders caught committing an offense for which they have already been fined in the past 12 months will be assessed a double penalty.
Victoria Police Department has said it will have a strong presence on the state’s roads during the holiday season and will conduct a ‘knock-on-door’ TV advertising campaign.
The campaign highlights one of the worst aspects of a police officer’s job: telling someone that their loved one has been killed in a traffic accident.
Traffic violations such as speeding or using a cell phone while driving are punishable by double demerit points from 12.01am 24th December to 11:59pm 3rd January in the NSW and the ACT (pictured, a police officer in NSW)
“We hope everyone got what they wanted for Christmas, because we didn’t. People still drive too fast. Maybe next year,” the NSW Police Department posted on Facebook on Sunday.
Malcolm Lanyon, deputy commissioner of Metropolitan Field Operations, said road safety enforcement operations are in place to make sure everyone gets home safely.
“This is the time of year to celebrate and be with those we care about, and anyone traveling to visit their friends and family should take extra care to reduce the risk of not arriving safely” said Dep Comm Lanyon.
“With rain forecast across the state in the coming days, we also urge motorists to drive to the conditions and implore every road user to be aware of their surroundings and be courteous to others.
‘So far this year 262 people have died on NSW roads and we don’t want any more families to be without anyone this holiday, mainly through recklessness or carelessness.’