Double demerits and school zones this long weekend

23 January 2012

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is reminding motorists they face double demerits for speeding, seatbelt or helmet offences during the upcoming Australia Day long weekend.

An RMS spokesperson said in a continued bid to reduce the road toll, double demerits will apply from midnight Tuesday 24 January until midnight Sunday 29 January.

“Double demerits are one way to help deter motorists from breaking the law during holiday periods,” the spokesperson said.

“NSW Police will also be carrying out Operation Safe Return between 26 and 29 January. 

“With more police on the road and double demerits in force, motorists will need to take even more care and drive within the speed limit, use seatbelts and ensure children are in a child restraint.

“Motorists also need to be aware the first gazetted day of term one for NSW schools is Friday 27 January and 40km/h school zones will be in force. 

“While many students may not return to school until Monday 30 January the first gazetted day is Friday 27 January when double demerits will be in force for the Australia Day long weekend.

“School zones operate on all gazetted school days to ensure the safety of students who may be travelling to or from school.

“Not all motorists will know if the school they are driving past is having a pupil-free day or if students are at school which is why all 40km/h school zones are consistently applied.

“Motorists need to be aware of the school holiday dates, especially during the double demerit period, to ensure they keep within the legal speed limit and don’t get caught speeding and potentially lose their licence.

“Many school zones have flashing lights as a reminder to motorists the school zone is operating.”

Key double demerit points which will be in force for full licence holders are:

  • Exceed speed limit by not more than 10km/h – 2 points
  • Exceed speed limit by 11-20km/h – 6 points
  • Exceed speed limit by 21-30km/h – 8 points
  • Exceed speed limit by 31-45km/h – 10 points and licence suspension
  • Exceed speed limit by more than 45km/h – 12 points and licence suspension
  • Driver not wearing own seatbelt – 6 points
  • Driver with passengers not wearing seatbelt – minimum 6 points
  • Rider on a motorcycle without own helmet – 6 points
  • Rider with a passenger on a motorcycle not wearing a helmet – minimum 6 points

“P plate drivers especially need to maintain their vigilance on the road as they face tougher penalties and a higher risk of losing their licence if they break the law during the double demerit period.”

An advertising campaign reminding motorists of the risk they face is running through the double demerit period.

Motorists can prepare for their journey by checking traffic conditions with the Transport Management Centre on 132 701 or at www.livetraffic.com

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