Double demerits to be enforced in NSW, WA and the ACT from 23 December
If you’re going on a road trip this holiday period, three of Australia’s eight jurisdictions are enforcing double demerits until early 2023.
Double demerit points for speeding and other traffic offences will be enforced from midnight on 23 December in New South Wales, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, as motorists hit the road for the summer holidays.
In New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, the upcoming double demerit period will run from 23 December 2022 until 3 January 2023, a string of 11 consecutive days.
Police will issue fines and double demerit point penalties for offences such as speeding, using a mobile phone while driving, and travelling without a seatbelt.
Western Australians are facing a longer period double demerit period of 16 days, from 23 December 2022 until 8 January 2023.
According to the Western Australia Government, double demerits will be applied to driving offences including speeding, drink-driving, failing to wear a seatbelt, illegally using a mobile phone, or running a red light.
Western Australia can also suspend a driver’s licence by applying a 14-point penalty during the 16-day period, if a motorist is caught driving a vehicle fitted with a device designed to evade detection by a speed camera.
Queensland does not apply double demerit points during holiday periods.
Instead, double demerits are applied year-round for motorists who exceed the posted speed limit by more than 20km/h for a second time within 12 months.
“There is no proven safety or deterrent benefit from enforcing double demerit points during holiday periods only,” a spokesperson for the Queensland's Transport and Main Road Department told Drive in September 2022.
Double demerits are not applied at any time of the year in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
As reported in September 2022, all Australian jurisdictions bar one apply their own demerit point penalties to motorists who are caught breaking the law in another state or territory.
For example, if you’re a New South Wales driver in Queensland and get caught speeding, the demerit fine will be based on your home state’s laws.
The method is applied everywhere except the Australian Capital Territory – motorists from the nation’s capital who are caught breaking the law in another state face the relevant demerit point penalties of the jurisdiction they’re travelling in.