DOUBLE DEMERIT POINTS THIS WEEKEND AND A PLAN TO END DRINK DRIVING
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said with school holidays about to begin, motorists in the region are being reminded that double demerit point penalties will be in force.
Mr Anderson said Police will be targeting speed, seatbelts, mobile phone use and motorcyclists not wearing helmets.
“Holidays like this weekend are often the best chance for families to get together and enjoy each other’s company.
“Our police want travelers to arrive at the destinations safely and to return home safely.
“Double demerit points will be in force for four days beginning tomorrow Friday, 28 September and ending on Monday, October 1.
“Police enforcement figures show that double demerit points do deter motorists from speeding and not wearing their seat belt/helmet when roads are at their busiest.
“Drivers are reminded that the demerit points increased for mobile phone offences to five in mid-September, so drivers caught illegally using their phone could be at risk of losing their licence.
“I also want to welcome new drink driving reforms that passed NSW Parliament that should help to end dangerous behaviour behind the wheel.
“Under the new legislation, if any driver commits a low-range drink driving offence they will be fined $561 and lose their licence immediately at the roadside for three months.
“This penalty will also apply to first time drug presence offences detected on the roadside via NSW’s mobile drug testing (MDT) program.
“We needed a stronger deterrent. Last year 55 people lost their lives in alcohol related crashes and 81 people died in crashes involving someone with illicit drugs in their system.
“First time mid-range offenders will need to have an alcohol interlock device installed to prove they can separate their drinking from driving.
“The 0.05 limit has been in place in NSW for almost 38 years. Today is about driving home to the community that there are no more excuses.
“The message to the community is powerful. Have a Plan B. Because if you drink drive, you will be caught, and you will lose your licence,” Mr Anderson concluded.
The reforms will begin at the end of 2018.
• On the spot $561 penalty, plus a 3 month licence suspension for low range drink driving and drug driving first offences;
• Expansion of the alcohol interlock program to mid-range drink drivers; and
• Vehicle sanctions for high risk, repeat offenders – in addition to other penalties - including licence plate confiscation and vehicle impoundment.