According to an article published by news.com.au, entitled “Demerits Huge Fine in Place in NSW at This Long Weekend”, traffic fines and double demerits penalties were expected to impact drivers in NSW during Labour Day 2018. The article went on to discuss that NSW drivers were to expect specific fines and demerit points for specific offences. With regards to drivers who would not wear a seatbelt they would be fined $337 and accumulate 6 demerit points, this also included motorcycle and scooter riders who failed to wear a helmet. Penalties associated with speeding offences NSW would attract a high fine of $2 435 and 12 demerit points. Penalties associated with mobile phone use while behind the wheel would cost drivers $448 and 10 demerit points. In order to notify the public of the fines and demerit points associated with offences, the NSW police posted a video on their Facebook page which was shared hundreds of times.
It must be noted that a driver who has not committed any offences has zero demerit points, however, when you commit an offence that carries demerit points, the points are added to your record. If you incur the threshold number of demerit points within a three-year period this will result in your licence being suspended or a refusal being applied.
The demerit points’ thresholds are as follows:
- Professional drivers – 14 points
- Unrestricted licence – 13 points
- Provisional P2 licence – 7 points
- Provisional P1 licence – 4 points
- Learner licence – 4 points
- Unrestricted licence be good behaviour period – 2 points within the term of good behaviour
Once a driver has reached or exceeded the demerit points limit he or she is issued with a licence suspension or a refusal. The driver will be notified by the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) by way of a Notice of Suspension or Refusal. The Notice will clearly specify the date the suspension or refusal is to begin. The imposing of the licence suspension or refusal period is determined by the RMS serving the Notice.
With regards to unrestricted licence holders the suspension period is dependent upon the number of points accumulated as noted below:
- 13 to 15 points – 3 months suspension
- 16 to 19 points – 4 months suspension
- 20 or more points – 5 months suspension
With regards to provisional and learner licence holders, the suspension period is 3 months. For an individual who is holding a full driver’s licence in NSW who exceeds their demerit points, they can usually elect to go on a good behaviour licence in order to avoid being suspended from driving.
If a driver chooses to have the traffic offence that carries demerit points taken to court, they may be given a Section 10 Dismissal A Section 10 Dismissal enables the court that has found an individual guilty of the traffic offence to discharge the individual without recording a conviction. For legal representation and advice with regards to a Section 10 Dismissal, contact lawyers specialising in traffic offences.