Police will crack down hard on speeding, seatbelt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences as holidaymakers hit the roads this long weekend.
The long weekend marks the start of a busy fortnight on New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory roads with the start of the school holidays.
Sydney roads will also be busy on Sunday with the NRL grand final at Sydney Olympic Park.
Motorists in the NSW and ACT are reminded that double demerit points started on Friday and will continue until 11.59pm Monday.
NSW Police will target speeding, seatbelt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences this long weekend
Double demerits will be in force for speeding, seatbelt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences.
As Friday (September 28) is a designated school day, an additional demerit point on top of double demerits will also apply to school zone offences committed that day.
Motorists are reminded an extra demerit point was recently added to the penalty for illegally using a mobile phone while driving.
This will add an additional two demerit points in double demerit periods resulting in a total of 10 demerit points for this offence.
Motorists have taken to social media with mixed feelings about double demerits.
‘You spelled making money wrong,’ one person commented on the NSW Police Facebook page.
Another added: ‘Penalties, restrictions and more demerits. And yet, no reward system for quality driving. Nor encouragement for it. I wonder why nothing has changed?’
Police will be cracking down particularly hard on motorists using their mobile phone while behind the wheel, which will incur a loss of 10 demerit points
During the 2017 Operation Slow Down period, three lives were lost in two fatal crashes on NSW roads. Both crashes occurred on rural roads
Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy urged motorists to not drive when tired, take breaks, not drive too fast for the conditions or if they have consumed drugs and/or alcohol.
DOUBLE DEMERIT POINTS IN NSW
No seatbelt or helmet: $337 and loss of six demerit points
Speeding: $2,435 and 12 points
Mobile phone offences: $448 and 10 points
Source: Roads and Maritime Services
‘One crash last year at Morisset involved a car leaving its lane. The vehicle went on to hit a power pole and a tree. Lives are being lost on the road and families are being changed forever because some motorists have not been able to simply stay in their lane,’ Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
‘This weekend is all about getting from A to B and ensuring everyone can make it back home – not sacrificing safety in moments of possible impatience while driving.’
NSW Police minister Troy Grant added: ‘After a horror weekend with multiple motorbike fatalities, it’s also extremely important for drivers and motorcyclists to be aware of their surroundings. One road fatality is one too many, so I urge people to stick to the speed limit, put their phone down, and observe the road rules.’
Executive Director of the NSW Centre for Road Safety Bernard Carlon encouraged people to enjoy the long weekend while keeping road safety in mind.
‘There is no doubt it is a wonderful time of year, but we can never lose sight of our goal of a zero road toll,’ Mr Carlon said.
‘When you behave dangerously behind the wheel, you aren’t just putting your own life at risk, but you are endangering the lives of other innocent road users.
‘Please consider how your decisions could impact others. Make sure you stick to the road rules and take your time, if you feel tired pull over and take a break and don’t drink and drive.
Motorists are urged this long weekend to not drive when tired, take breaks, not drive too fast for the conditions or if they have consumed drugs and/or alcohol
‘Mobile phones, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt or helmet are all contributing factors in fatal crashes and that is why we are coming down hard on these offences.’
Double demerit points were in force during Western Australia’s long weekend last weekend.
Tasmania does not have double demerit periods, neither do Northern Territory, Queensland or South Australia.
When double-demerits come into force in YOUR state
New South Wales: Thursday 28, September
Australian Capital Territory: Thursday 28, September
Western Australia: Took place September 21-24
States that do not have double demerit periods are: