Pedestrian Council of
Safety – Amenity – Access – Healtha
Wednesday 12 April 2006
DOUBLE-DEMERITS: RTA & POLICE OBSESSED WITH SPEEDING & SEAT-BELT OFFENCES WHILE IGNORING OTHER MORE SERIOUS OFFENCES
PCA Urges NSW Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal to Consider Double Points for ALL Demerit Point Offences During
The Chairman of the PCA, Harold Scruby, said today: “For nearly a decade now, NSW has had Double-Demerit Points (DPs) for Seat-Belt and Speeding offences during public holiday periods. The PCA was instrumental in the establishment of this initiative. In previous years, all other DP offences attracted 1 additional DP. For reasons that were never explained or made public, this provision was recently removed by the RTA.”
“All driver-behaviour which compromises safety contributes to the road toll, which in NSW is now 33% higher than last year (see attached).
“It is utterly absurd that extremely dangerous offences such as running red lights, overtaking on double-lines, using hand-held mobile phones, hogging the outside lane, or driving through stop signs etc., attract the nominal 3 DPs during holiday periods, where there is enormous potential for harm to many road users. Yet a driver failing to fasten his or her seat-belt will attract 6 DPs during the same period, where the potential for harm is generally only related to the perpetrator. Mr Scruby said.
“The current Double Demerit Point system is anomalous, inconsistent and unfair. It focuses valuable police resources on speeding and seat-belt offences and it means that the RTA will spend its advertising and promotional budgets on these particular offences, while ignoring other more dangerous driver-behaviour.
Mr Scruby added: “Following a major study by the NRMA into Demerit Points, it concluded in March 2000: ‘The Demerit Points Scheme needs to be reviewed to ensure it is fair, consistent and focused on safety. All safety-related offences should incur Dement Points. Penalties should be reviewed to ensure that offences that are most likely to endanger the community carry higher penalties …’
“We urge Minister Roozendaal to ensure immediately that there are double points for ALL Demerit Point offences during ALL holiday periods. It will save lives and help reduce the appalling NSW Road Toll.” Mr Scruby said.