Double demerit points in effect from tonight as Australia Day approaches

Stock image.
Stock image.

DOUBLE demerit points for the Australia Day long weekend will begin from midnight tonight as police urge motorists to drive responsibly over the break.

More than 300 drivers lost their licences due to double demerit points over the Christmas and New Year period, prompting the warning ahead of the Australia Day long weekend.

Police Minister Michelle Roberts today released figures from the 17-day festive season police blitz, which saw a massive 121,000 drivers randomly breath tested across the State.

These included:

• 378 drivers charged with drink driving related offences;
• 244 people caught for illegally using their mobile phone while driving;
• 15,511 people fined for speeding;
• 66 drivers charged with either reckless, dangerous or careless driving offences.
• 301 people either reached or exceeded 12 demerit points during the period, with 211 of those losing 12 points as a result of a single vehicle stop.

Double demerit point penalties will apply again from midnight tonight until midnight on Monday, January 28 for the following offences:

• Drink or drug driving;
• Speeding;
• Failing to wear a seatbelt or child restraint;
• Running a red light; and
• Illegal use of a mobile phone while driving.

“Don’t risk losing your licence by making poor decisions on the road,” Police Minister Michelle Roberts said.

“If you think about it, the consequences could be huge, it affects your family life, your job and your leisure.

“It’s really disappointing that 301 drivers accumulated 12 points or more during the last double demerit point period.

“Our officers are out there on the roads and our message is consistent, anywhere, anytime, it’s just not worth the risk.”