Double demerit points apply in certain holidays in NSW, the ACT and WA, but do they apply to the licences of riders from other states?
Unfortunately the answer is not a simple yes or no.
There is no double demerit system in Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, Northern Territory and South Australia.
If you are a rider from those states passing through NSW, ACT or WA during a declared holiday period, then the double points will not apply.
Queensland is different
However, Queensland riders should note that in certain circumstances the double points will apply.
The law in Queensland is that double points do apply to speeding offences of 21km/h or greater over the speed limit and seatbelt offences if they occur more than once within a 12 month period.
Lawyer Stephen Hayles of Macrossan and Amiet Solicitors says he has been asked by clients about the system after copping a fine in an applicable state.
“For example if you commit two speeding offences of driving 21km/hr over the speed limit in a 12 month period, you will be allocated 4 demerit points for the first offence and 4 demerit points for the second offence plus an additional 4 demerit points,” he says.
“This means that you will have accumulated 12 demerit points within a 12 month period and you risk having your licence suspended.”
Double demerit periods
Double points apply in NSW and ACT over the Australia Day weekend, Easter (April 13 to 17, 2017), Anzac Day (April 21-25, 2017), Queen’s Birthday (June 9-12, 2017), Labour Day (September 29 to October 2, 2017), Christmas/New Year (December 22, 2017 to January 1, 2018).
In WA, the double points apply on Australia Day (not this year as it falls on a week day), Labour Day (this past weekend) Easter (April 13-17, 2017), Anzac Day (not this year as it falls on a week day), Western Australia Day (June 2-5, 2017), Queen’s Birthday (September 22-25, 2017), Christmas and New Year (December 22, 2017, to January 7 2018).
How demerit points are recorded
If a rider in another state commits a traffic offence in a state during a double point period, the offence is recorded as a double demerit offence on their traffic history in the state where the offence happened.
The state licensing authority will then report the offence to the transport department in your state who will record the offence on your traffic history.
However, the double points will only apply in Queensland under the circumstances described above.
Choice of penalty
Stephen says that if you have committed a traffic offence recently and you receive a Queensland Transport notice that you have accumulated your allowed demerit points, you will have a choice of a good driving behaviour period or a licence suspension for a period.
“When considering whether to agree to a good behaviour driving behaviour period and a licence suspension, it is important that a licence holder understands that accepting a suspension of their licence may preclude them from making an Application for a Special Hardship Order or an Application for a Restricted (Work) Licence for the next five years,” he warns.
If you are unsure about how many demerit points you have, you can search your record online at your state’s transport department website or call them and request a copy of your traffic history.