Double demerit points, long weekend: Bad driver behaviour deterred by points loss

DETERRENT WORKS: Centre for Road Safety's Bernard Carlon (centre) with Highway Patrol Regional Commander Superintendent Paul Glinn and Minister for Regional Roads Paul Toole. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 100219cops3
DETERRENT WORKS: Centre for Road Safety's Bernard Carlon (centre) with Highway Patrol Regional Commander Superintendent Paul Glinn and Minister for Regional Roads Paul Toole. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 100219cops3

DOUBLE demerit points do work as a deterrent for motorists' bad behaviour, Centre for Road Safety executive director Bernard Carlon says.

With the upcoming October long weekend, and roads expected to be busy thanks to school holidays and sporting matches, experts are pleading with motorists to do the right thing.

Operation Slow Down runs from 12.01am on Friday until 11.59pm on Monday, with double demerit points to apply for speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences.

When asked if the chance of losing double the points for a single driving offence works as a deterrent, Mr Carlon's answer was an unequivocal "absolutely".

"Where you measure the period pre double demerits and when double demerits have run, there's been a 30 per cent reduction in our casualty crashes directly attributable to the double demerits," he said.

"As recently as January when we had the automated mobile phone camera detection program operating during double demerits it [offences] dropped by 19 per cent.

There's been a 30 per cent reduction in our casualty crashes directly attributable to the double demerits.

Centre for Road Safety executive director Bernard Carlon

"We know that it's a deterrent to people. People are, during double demerits, particularly concerned."

While unable to comment on the effectiveness of the double demerit points system, Highway Patrol Regional Commander Superintendent Paul Glinn said more police will be on the region's roads to enforce the law this long weekend.

"Regional roads account for approximately 70 per cent of the fatalities across NSW and as of October 1, 2019, 201 people sadly had been killed on regional roads," he said.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said police would target back roads as well as main highways across the region.

"Our highway patrol police officers will do an additional 5500 hours over the October long weekend," he said.

Mr Carlon said people need to stop thinking of the road toll as just a number but rather "the impact it has on people's lives".

"One in four people in the country know someone who's either been seriously injured or killed on our roads," he said.

"There are more crashes on regional roads because we're in a high-speed environment on roads that aren't as well designed as those that are in the urban areas."

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This story Double demerit points are working to deter motorists' bad behaviour first appeared on Daily Liberal.