As most road users in Perth know, double demerit points apply over holiday periods. The double demerit system means that the penalties for committing some driving offences are doubled over a given number of days. In Western Australia, the offences usually subject to double demerits include speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or negligence to wear restraints (such as seatbelts and child seats), running red lights, and, illegal use of a mobile phone while driving.
In the upcoming Christmas period, double demerits will be enforced in WA from Friday, 18 December 2015 to Sunday, 3 January 2016.
Many people complain that the double demerits system is just a form of revenue raising by the government. However, statistics tell another story. Studies done by the Road Safety Commission of Western Australia have shown that the daily number of road crashes in double demerit periods is consistently lower than in times without double demerits. There are less crashes reported due to speeding vehicles and alcohol consumption in double demerits periods. In fact, the number of fatal crashes due to alcohol consumption decreased by 17.76% during double demerit periods when compared with non-double demerit periods from 2001 – 2008. This is quite astonishing when considering the times at which double demerits are enforced.
Double demerits exist for a reason. The double demerit system has encouraged Western Australians to be mindful of lawful and safe road use at the times of the year when our roads are the busiest, and at times when other things might have been on their minds.
From everyone at Kakulas Legal we wish you a safe and happy festive season and a prosperous New Year!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, help is available. Visit our website to see if our team of specialist motor vehicle accident lawyers assist you, or give us a call on (08) 9325 4799.
More information about the impact of double demerits can be found on the Road Safety Commission website.