Double demerits start on Friday

THE longest double demerit point period of the year begins on Friday.

Drivers risk a hefty demerit point penalty from December 18 to January 3 inclusive.

It means mobile phone use while driving, which would normally be a three demerit point penalty, could send a driver from zero demerit points to being halfway from a licence suspension. Drivers lose their licence at 12 demerit points.

Fines do not double.

The double penalties apply to drink or drugdriving, speeding, failing to wear a seatbelt, running a red light and using a mobile device