The Easter long weekend is around the corner, with traffic on our roads expected to hit record levels.
Between family lunches, chocolate egg hunts and religious celebrations, state governments are taking action to keep motorists safe by instating double demerits.
So when do they start and what offences are police looking out for?
New South Wales
Double demerits will be in effect in New South Wales between Thursday April 14 and Monday April 18, 2022.
The Double Demerits Enforcement Road Safety Campaign will be penalising motorists for breaking road rules during the period, including speeding, illegal use of mobile phones, not wearing a seatbelt, and riding without a helmet.
The offence of speeding more than 10 km/h but not more than 20 km/h, for example, will usually result in a 3 point penalty for NSW drivers, however 6 demerits will be awarded during the Easter period for offending drivers.
Australian Capital Territory
The ACT will also be penalising road offenders with double demerits from Thursday April 14 to Monday April 18, 2022.
Mobile Phone Detection Cameras will be active throughout the area during the Easter period, with drivers reminded that using a phone for video calling, texting, emailing, social media, web browsing and photography reasons can result in up to 8 demerit points and $598 in fines.
Victoria does not apply double demerits, however Victorian police have warned that they will be out in full force over Easter in a media statement.
Through an initiative called Operation Compass, which runs between 12:01am Thursday 14 April until 23:59pm on Monday 25 April 2022, police will be flooding the roads in an effort to reduce road trauma.
Police issued more than 9,000 infringements over a five-day Easter operation in 2021 and will again be on the lookout for speeding and impaired drivers.
“We’ll be doing everything we can to prevent more lives being lost – expect to see lots of police, lots of police vehicles and plenty of alcohol and drug testing during this period,” Assistant Commissioner Road Policing, Glenn Weir said.
Queensland does not double demerit points during holiday periods. However repeat traffic offenders can expect to receive double demerit points for their second of subsequent offence within 12 months of a previous offence.
Double demerit points are applied for repeat offenders who have been caught doing the following: speeding more than 20km/h over the speed limit, mobile phone offences, driver seatbelt offences, and motorcycle helmet offences.
The Queensland Police website warns: “You don’t have to commit the same offence a second or subsequent time to receive double demerit points—the offence only needs to be within the same offence group.”
South Australian police do not enforce double demerit points over public holidays. However, the department has issued warnings to South Australian drivers in previous years.
“We’ve had a few followers asking if South Australia has double demerits, and as the long weekend approaches, we’d like to answer this popular question,” they wrote in a 2020 Facebook post.
“At this current time, South Australia does not have double demerits, and in the past, we have never had them in this state, but that is no excuse for poor driving behaviour.
“So remember to stay safe behind the wheel, because double demerits or not, we’ll still catch you if you’re doing the wrong thing.”
The Northern Territory aligns with Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania in not running a double demerits scheme.
In 2021, NT police commenced Operation Thalen over the Easter break, which cracked down on drink driving, roadworthiness and vehicle registration, and this year may prove to be no different.
Usual penalties and fines will continue to apply to offences committed over the Easter long weekend.
Between Thursday April 14 and Monday April 18, 2022, many offences will be subject to double demerits for WA drivers, according to the WA transport website. These include:
Speeding, drink or drug driving
Failing to wear a seatbelt and child restraint
Running a red light
Illegal use of a mobile phone while driving
Drive a motor vehicle fitted with a device designed to evade detection by a speed camera (14 points during double demerits period)
Drive a motor vehicle in a manner to evade detection by a speed camera (14 points during double demerits period)
Running a red light would usually mean 3 demerit points and a $300 fine for WA drivers, but over Easter, offenders can expect to lose 6 points.
Tasmania does not have a double demerits scheme in effect over the long weekend, however drivers are still encouraged to be careful on the roads.
Learners and P Platers are reminded that their licence is liable for suspension if they record 4 or more demerit points in a period of 12 months or less.
Glenorchy Police are also cracking down on the unlawful use of minibikes, trail bikes and motorised push bikes, according to a recent media release. It is expected that police will be out in full force over the Easter weekend.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.