Fines for offences over Christmas

Police will target speeding, seatbelt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences as the double demerits period kicks in for the holidays.

Motorists face huge fines and potential license losses as New South Wales enters the double demerit period from midnight tonight.

That period will last until 11.59pm on January 3. With 293 deaths on NSW roads in 2020 through November, police will crack down on speeding motorists.

For example, driving 45km/h over the speed limit normally carries a $3821 fine and a six-point demerit.

But that same offence will carry a 12-point demerit penalty between Christmas Eve and the start of the New Year.

Driving without a seatbelt usually carries a $349 fine but for the next 11 days will come with a six-point demerit.

Using a phone will carry a 10-point demerit as well as a $349 fine.

NSW Police also announced their Four Ds campaign, targeting drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving.

“Slow down; when the police talk about distracted driving that’s really important,” Minister Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, said on 2GB radio this morning.

“People need to take a deep breath when they are getting in the car and everything goes out the window except what allows them to concentrate on driving.

“People who use it legally but when the conversation is about work or family, the anxiety levels go up and that’s when people get distracted again.”

Western Australia is similar to NSW in its attitude towards driving offences during the holidays with police starting their double demerit period earlier than their east coast counterparts.

Drivers in Western Australia have faced double demerits for a range of offences since Friday and also concludes on January 4.

WA Police will target driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, speeding, driving while using a phone, running red lights and seat belt offences.

In Queenslanders, double demerits aren’t enforced specifically over the Christmas period. Instead, drivers who commit the same offence twice within 12 months, such as driving while using a phone or speeding, will be slapped with double demerits.

Victoria also does not have a specific double demerits system, but if a driver gets 12 demerit points in three years they face suspension. Provisional and learner licence holders can be suspended for five demerits in one year and 12 demerits in three years.

Demerits in South Australia take three years to expire with the same 12-point limit in three years as Victoria. This also applies in the Northern Territory and Tasmania.

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