Queen's Public Holiday: Double demerits for 5 days angers motorists

·News Reporter
·3-min read

Some states and territories in Australia will be subjected to double demerits for five days because of the National Day of Mourning for the Queen, and people say the decision is a "complete joke".

Transport for NSW announced the unwelcome news on Monday, saying double demerits will apply from 12am on Wednesday until 11.59pm on Sunday.

Only NSW and the ACT will get the short end of the stick. Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory won't do double demerits.

Western Australia will have double demerits, but only from 12.01am on Friday until 11.59pm on Monday to coincide with the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, which WA celebrates separately from other states.

A photo of Queen Elizabeth II and a police car. Source: Getty
NSW and the ACT will have double demerits for five days due to the National Day of Mourning for Queen Elizabeth II. Source: Getty

People react to the news of double demerits

Some people thought five days of double demerits was a bit extreme. Extended days of demerits have sometimes been put in place in the past when a public holiday falls on a Thursday, Friday, Monday or Tuesday.

"Classic revenue raising!!! Not even a long weekend," someone said on Twitter.

Many also questioned how much of a 'holiday' the National Day of Mourning really is.

"Do they think the people will be out partying and drinking for the queen’s funeral?" one person said on Twitter.

"And in honour of the Queen, we will fine as many people as we can," another said sarcastically.

"What a joke!" a third person said.

Transport for NSW defends demerits strategy

Transport for NSW Deputy Secretary for Safety, Environment and Regulation, Tara McCarthy, reminded drivers why such a rule exists on public holidays.

“Although this is a sombre occasion, there is still likely to be more people out on the roads over the next few days and over the weekend with the school term ending on Friday, so it is important we all take extra care,” Ms McCarthy said.

“The last thing we want to see over this period is an increase in road trauma, which is why double-demerits will be in place, like they would for any other public holiday to deter people from doing the wrong thing and putting lives at risk."

One person on Facebook agreed with Ms McCarthy's sentiment, even suggesting something a bit more extreme.

"Should be double the money as well as double the points, might make people more responsible behind the wheel of a car," they said.

Drivers who speed between 10 and 20km/h over the speed limit could lose six points and $288, while the same offence in a school zone would result in the loss of eight points and $369.

Anyone caught speeding 45km/h over the speed limit would lose 12 points of the total 13 points on their licence. They would also be fined a whopping $2547.

The same offence in a school zone would cost $2704 and 14 demerit points – an instant loss of licence.

The NRMA reminded drivers to take care during this period.

"Please drive safely and take extra care on the roads to protect yourself, your loved ones and all road users." they said.

While double demerits don't apply in Queensland during public holidays, drivers will receive them for their second offence within 12 months, all year around.

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