When do double demerits start this Easter long weekend?

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·4-min read

Easter might be looking different again this year with Queensland currently under lockdown, but that doesn’t mean the police won’t still be out in force handing out double demerits.

So, when do they start and what offences will police be looking out for?

When do double demerits start in NSW?

Double demerits will start in NSW on Thursday at 12.01am and will end at 11.59pm on Monday.

There are four offences NSW Police will be keeping a lookout for: speeding, illegal use of mobile phones, not wearing a seatbelt and riding without a helmet.

Rush hour traffic on the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia.
NSW drivers can be slapped with double demerit penalties as early as Thursday morning. Source: Getty Images

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb urged people to “drive carefully”.

“With Covid-19 restricting travel last Easter, we expect people to take full advantage of being able to holiday across NSW and interstate this year,” she said.

“We want you to enjoy our beautiful state, but please drive carefully, particularly where roads may be unfamiliar.

“At the heart of our policing is always public safety. We want all of you to arrive at your destination and enjoy Easter with loved ones.”

Exceed the speed limit by under 10km/h and you could be slapped with two demerit points instead of one and get whacked with a $123 fine.

It’s much higher if you exceeded the speed limit by more than 10km/h over the holidays with a six demerit point penalty on top of a fine of $285.

Failure to wear a seatbelt will see drivers fined $349 and punished with six demerit points.

When do double demerits start in the ACT?

The ACT will have the same period of double demerit enforcement as neighbouring NSW.

Police will also target mobile phone and speeding offences.

Everything about Queensland’s double demerits

Queensland drivers won’t face a double demerit period over Easter but can face harsher penalties all year round.

Instead, if you commit the same offence twice within 12 months, such as driving while using a phone or speeding in Queensland, drivers will be slapped with double demerits.

Police vehicles are seen on a deserted street on the first day of a snap lockdown in Brisbane.
Police in Brisbane's CBD during the city's lockdown. Source: Getty Images

According to the state’s double demerit page, offences don’t have to be exactly the same to warrant a double demerit penalty either just “within the same offence group”.

For example, if a driver is caught driving while not wearing a seatbelt they will receive three demerit points. If they’re caught with a passenger not wearing a seatbelt within 12 months of the first offence they will receive a total of six demerit points.

Double demerit points over Easter in WA

Western Australia will start its double demerit policing period from Thursday through to Monday inclusive, which is the same as NSW and the ACT.

Offences police will be targeting include: running a red light, drink or drug driving, mobile phone use while driving, speeding, failing to wear seatbelts, and driving in a manner to avoid detection by speed cameras.

South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and Northern Territory’s double demerits

South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory don’t have double demerit periods for drivers.

However, drivers from these states and territories are warned to be cautious when driving in other states which do observe double demerits over the holiday period.

A mobile speed camera is seen on the M1 Motorway south of Brisbane.
A mobile speed camera south of Brisbane. Source: AAP

Victoria Police said Victoria State Emergency Service Driver Reviver sites will be operating at 25 roadside locations over Easter as part of Operation Nexus.

Acting Deputy Commissioner Specialist Operations Libby Murphy urged people to not “make a decision behind the wheel that could ruin your life or those around you”.

“Don’t speed to get to your destination faster, don’t drink or take drugs before driving, put your mobile phone down and your seatbelt on, and make regular stops if you’re feeling tired,” she said.

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