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Double Demerits over Christmas

By Jazz - 17 December 2007 14

Its that time of year again when double demerit points will apply in the ACT. This time round its from the first moment on Friday 21 December 2007 until the last moment on Tuesday 1 January 2008 inclusive.

All speeding offences and the following seatbelt offences attract DOUBLE demerit points during this period.

Seatbelt not adjusted/fastened driver
Not in adjusted/fastened/restraint (under 1yr)
Not in adjusted/fastened/restraint (over 1yr under 16)
In front seat no restraint/seatbelt (under 16)

As per usual its an attempt at reducing the christmas period road toll (nothing to do with revenue) and I do sometimes wonder if there would actually be more deaths if there weren’t double demerits. Come to think of it why there are so many categories of ‘not wearing your seatbelt’. Does anyone know if these offences normally carry different penalties?

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
Double Demerits over Christmas
Thumper 9:16 am 19 Dec 07

And that as well…

Mælinar 8:52 am 19 Dec 07

Insta-confiscation of vehicles and making the fuckers walk home would work too.

Thumper 8:43 am 19 Dec 07

I recall a study done in NSW some years ago and it was found that about one in ten drivers were not allowed to be on the road due to suspended licences, no licences, or whatever.

Double demerit points only hurts responsible drivers, not those who blatently have no regard for the law.

Double the fines, that will scare enough people.

imarty 10:39 pm 18 Dec 07

I should probably say I was doing just over 80 keeping up with traffic and this F-wit would have been doing at LEAST 120.

imarty 10:36 pm 18 Dec 07

Agree with previous comments, gotta have cops on the road in marked cars. That will catch them and stop them , surely changing their behaviour immediately as well as sending a message that you don’t know where you might get pinged if you’re not obeying the laws; as opposed to slowing down for the revenue cameras.
For the first time ever when driving (25 years), I got a shiver up my spine around 7.40am when I was over taken going up the hill on Hindmarsh from Woden/Garran by a complete dickhead who obviously had no respect for his, his passengers or anyone else’s life in a dark green commodore.
I spotted him in the rear view swerving through traffic across all three lanes, taking me (middle lane) on the inside from the right outside, back infront across 2 lanes again to the right hand and again back inside again to disappear over the hill going east. Deadset scared crap out of me and I drive a lot of kms in several states.
Where’s the coppers in these peak periods or will we see a camera appear in this area soon. I know where I’d put my money…

Vic Bitterman 9:51 pm 18 Dec 07

Same, JTK. Agreed.

James-T-Kirk 4:15 pm 18 Dec 07

They could trebble the points as far as I am concerned – Been driving for 20+ years (since the paper licence) – Never lost a point… (At lease not since they introduced them).

Mind you, I *never* travel at the posted speeds. Hmmm Points clearly work.

I echo Holden’s comments – You can’t beat physical police cars on the roads…. If we had enough, I *might* even have to consider slowing down…

Holden Caulfield 11:03 am 18 Dec 07

Agree that more marked patrol cars on the roads over Christmas will do a lot more for maintaining the “awareness” of drivers and their behaviour.

I’ll be making my third road trip to South Australia this year and I know with absolute certainty that some dickhead will decide I’m travelling at a speed that takes their fancy and they will sit on my arse until I slow down and let them pass. Of course, this will happen after I have caught, and overtaken them, all while my cruise control ensures my speed is pretty constant.

Nothing shits me more than having miles and miles of open road with a car sitting right up my clacker?! FFS! Happens on the drive to Sydney as well. God damn it is frustrating.

aa 10:48 am 18 Dec 07

Lane hogging is the biggest one. I think it causes most of the road rage around town. I know years back there was a law that you had to stay left unless overtaking. Does anyone know if it’s still the law? If it is, i think police should inforce it. Why do people in Canberra insist on staying in the right lane if they’re going under the speed limit. I understand if you have to change lanes, but no if you have to change in 2 or 3km. You see them all the time on the roads that don’t have an option to turn right for kms but they still sit in the right lane and go 20km below the limit.

VYBerlinaV8 10:38 am 18 Dec 07

Holden is right – I too read an article where it was asserted that the rate of accidents, given kilometres travelled, is lower during holiday weekends.

Also, they used to double the fines as well as the points, but people grumbled. Personally I don’t really care if they double the fine or not. As far as the points go, I’m unconvinced it’s a helpful system anyway, as it doesn’t really stop d***head driving. It would be more effective, I think, to have more marked police cars around, booking people for stupid driving behaviours, which include failure to give way, failure to indicate, tailgating, lane hogging, speeding, driving unroadworthy cars, and not merging properly. If some real focus was put onto those areas, I suspect the traffic would start to flow more freely as people made smoother progress, and people would be less inclined to speed because they were feeling a bit less stressed behind the wheel.

Holden Caulfield 10:28 am 18 Dec 07

I’d have to try and find the relevant issue, but Wheels magazine had some stats a while back that indicated that more road deaths occur on “normal” weekends than over the Christmas period. And, from memory, have done for sometime, and also prior to the double demerit policy.

Mælinar 8:52 am 18 Dec 07

Double Demerits makes a mockery out of the existing demerit system. If it is such a rampant problem over the holiday period, then they should hardcode the penalties into law, not adjust them willy-nilly at their own whim.

It actually smarts of a knee-jerk reaction to the fact that they are under increased scrutiny due to mainstream media running ongoing roadkill tallies during the holiday period.

Does anybody know if the carnage rate actually goes up during the holiday period, or we only notice it because mainstream media is making a show and dance of it ?

Special G 7:36 pm 17 Dec 07

As soon as you double the fine as well it become all about revenue raising. Points on the other hand make you think twice about it.

Then again there are those who don’t give a rats anyway about points, licences or fines.

Jonathon Reynolds 2:56 pm 17 Dec 07

I can never understand why during these holiday periods the double demerits are never accompanied by doubling the fines.

I’m all against using road rules to raise general revenue, but nothing like a severe hit to the hip pocket in a monetary sense would make people think twice before doing something really stupid – especially on the roads during peak holiday season.

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