ABC News Online - Sunday 13 April 2003

Call for urgent overhaul of demerit points system

The Pedestrian Council of Australia is urging the NSW government to overhaul driver demerit points, with double demerits due to begin again this Friday for the Easter holiday period.

Pedestrian council chairman Harold Scruby says more demerit points are issued for seatbelt offences than for many other driver actions that are far more dangerous.

Mr Scruby says Transport Minister Carl Scully should scrap the current demerit point system.

"The whole system needs a complete review and we've been begging for this for years," Mr Scruby said.

"Now the Minister's been reinstated, it's time to get a clean piece of paper out and start again and reappraise all these driver behaviours."

"After all, it's the Road Transport Authority (RTA) and Mr Scully who have promised they're going to halve the road toll by 2010."

"I don't know how they're going to do that when the road toll's still increasing."

Telstra today released the results of a survey of seven hundred and fifty mobile phone users on their attitudes to talking on the phone while driving.

It found a third still used hand-held phones while driving, despite being aware it was against the law.

Mobile phone use in cars will not be subject to double demerit points over the Easter period.
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