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Pedestrian Council of Australia
Safety – Amenity – Access – Health

 

MEDIA RELEASE

PCA APPLAUDS NSW GOVERNMENT & ROADS
MINISTER CARL SCULLY ON REVISED DEMERIT POINTS SYSTEM

“This will save lives on our roads”


The Chairman of the PCA, Mr Harold Scruby, said today:  “We applaud the NSW Government and in particular, Roads Minster Carl Scully on the introduction of a much fairer and more consistent penalty system.  This is one of the most important Road Safety initiatives in the last decade.  It will save lives on our roads.

 

“We have been campaigning for many years for a review of the penalty system.  A comprehensive review of all fines and demerit points has resulted in a system based on the over-riding philosophy that:  ‘The penalty system must be fair, consistent and focussed on safety. All safety-related offences must incur demerit points and offences more likely to endanger the community must carry higher penalties.’

 

Mr Scruby said: “For the first time in Australia, a government has recognised that dangerous parking can be equally as dangerous and potentially lethal as dangerous driving, particularly for pedestrians.  As such, there will now be demerit points and stiff penalties for stopping in pedestrian zones, bus zones and double parking.

 

“Fines favour the rich and are quickly forgotten.  Demerit points treat all motorists equally and readily identify bad and dangerous drivers and remove them from our roads.  They also dramatically improve driver-behaviour.  Demerit points will no longer just focus on speed and seat-belt offences, they will be awarded against all driving offences which compromise the safety of any person.  Insurance companies will also be able to more readily identify and assess drivers who have lost their licences and increase their premiums accordingly.

 

Mr Scruby added: “This is now the most consistent, comprehensive and equitable penalty system in Australia.  We encourage all other state and territory governments throughout Australia to immediately emulate this vital Road Safety example.

 

Internet References:

 

http://www.walk.com.au/pedestriancouncil/page.asp?PageID=282&SiteID=1

 

http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/newsevents/2004_09_demeritreview.html?hhid=1

 

   

 

Harold Scruby - Chairman/CEO – Pedestrian Council of Australia - Tel: (02) 9968-4555   (0418) 110-011

Email: scruby@walk.com.au  Internet:  www.walk.com.au

 



 
CARL SCULLY MP
Minister for Roads
Minister for Housing
Leader of the House
MEDIA RELEASE

Thursday September 23, 2004

FAIRER FINES AND DEMERIT SYSTEM TO BOOST SAFETY

NSW motorists will have a fairer, more consistent fines and demerit points system from early next year, aimed at encouraging greater road safety.

The Minister for Roads, Carl Scully, today introduced the new streamlined system of 1,545 road-related offences, saying it would promote better safety outcomes.

"This is about protecting our children, our families and our drivers," Mr Scully said.

"An effective demerit points system is a key part of road safety and has been shown to be a major contributor to improved driver behaviour and reduced road trauma.

"This new system, which comes into force on February 1 next year, reduces the current, complex 48 levels of fines and offences to just 15, bringing about greater simplicity and consistency in traffic and parking offences."

Among the most significant changes is the introduction of demerit points for some safety-related parking offences, Mr Scully said.

"These include double parking and stopping on or near school and pedestrian crossings.

"Children are put in serious danger of being knocked down when motorists park on or near these crossings and block their line of sight.

"It's therefore only proper that these offences attract demerit points so that drivers risk losing their licences for repeated infringements."

Mr Scully said the new fines and demerit points system follows a major review and more than 12 months of consultation with Police, the NRMA, the Pedestrian Council and the public.

The review found that inconsistencies existed throughout all categories of offences examined and that many fines and demerit points need to be realigned to achieve a fairer, more safety-focussed outcome.

"As a result, fines for 760 offences will fall while fines for 642 offences will rise. The remainder are unchanged.

"The penalties for almost half of those 642 offences will rise by less than $10, as the majority of changes involve rounding the fine to the nearest $25 amount." Some of the offences for which fines will fall - from $233 to $175 - include:
  • Certain right hand turn offences
  • Beginning U turn without view of approaching traffic or when driver could obstruct traffic, and
  • Proceeding past hand-held stop sign while sign shown or contrary to directions.
The offences attracting the biggest rises in fines include:
  • Not obeying direction of police/authorised person (from $50 to $225)
  • Various unsafe towing offences (from $74 to $300)
  • Using a vehicle with a misleading, altered or obscured plate (from $78 to $300).
"Wherever possible, similar types of offences have been grouped together and - in the future - any new offences will be at one of these 15 levels," Mr Scully said.

"To ensure consistency in penalties, reductions in demerit points for many offences will be implemented including certain roundabout offences, not stopping at hand-held stop signs, not keeping left of a dividing lane, and not driving within a marked lane.

"For the first time, Council officers will be able to issue a penalty notice for an offence that attracts demerit points," Mr Scully said. "A major publicity campaign will be launched to tie in with the release of the new fines and demerit points to educate the community on the changes and to remind everyone of their responsibility to drive safely on our roads."

Media Contact: Jim Hanna 0414 828 629
 

 

SUMMARY OF MAJOR CHANGES

1.       New demerit points

Offence

Current penalty

New penalty

Vehicle with speed evasion article

$1202

$1175/9 pts

Obscured/defaced/illegible/illegal/altered/misleading number plates

$78

$300/3 pts

Unsafe towing

$78-$290

$300/3 pts

Offences involving emergency vehicles

$155 - $311

$300/3 pts

Stop in bus zone/stop

$95

$225/2 pts

Stop on/near children’s/pedestrian/market foot crossing

$231

$225/3 pts

Stop on/near level crossing

$70

$225/3 pts

Drive vehicle with TV/VDU image visible/likely to distract

$104

$225/3 pts

Passenger safety e.g. tow trailer with person in/on trailer

$78

$225/3 pts

Bull Bars

Vehicle defect notice

$225/3 pts

Double park

$95

$175/2 pts

 

2.       Changes to number of demerit points and/or fine level

Offence

Current penalty

New penalty

Close following e.g. drive behind another vehicle too closely to stop safely

$182/1 pt

$300/3 pts

Ride motorbike with more than 1 passenger

$78/2 pts

$225/3 pts

Offences at Roundabouts, eg: Not enter roundabout in direction of traffic lane arrow.

$130/3 pts

$175/2 pts

 

3.       Changes to fine level

Offence

Current penalty

New penalty

Not obey police direction

$50

$225

Stop in/on bus/transit/truck lane

$130

$175

Disobey no stopping sign

$155

$225

Drive without proper control of vehicle

$130/3 pts

$300/3 pts

View and control e.g. drive without proper control

$130/3 pts

$300/3 pts

Negligent driving

$182/3 pts

$300/3 pts

Crashes: duties of driver e.g. not give particulars to police/other driver

$130/3 pts

$225/3 pts

Traffic light offences e.g. proceed through red traffic light, not stop at stop line at red light, not stop before stop sign at red light.

$233/3 pts

$300/3 pts