This article will discuss how demerit points are calculated, when points are restored, and how one can challenge the loss of points in NSW.
The Demerit Points System is a vital tool used by the New South Wales (NSW) government to promote road safety. This system is designed to penalize drivers who commit repeated traffic offences and encourage responsible driving.
Demerit Points Calculation
In NSW, demerit points are accumulated when a driver commits specific traffic offences. The number of points associated with each offence varies depending on the seriousness of the offence. For example, speeding offences can attract between 1 and 6 demerit points, depending on the speed at which you were travelling above the speed limit. Other common offences, such as using a mobile phone while driving or not wearing a seatbelt, attract 5 and 3 demerit points, respectively.
The Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is responsible for recording demerit points on your driving record. If you accumulate too many demerit points within a specific period, you may face a licence suspension.
Demerit Points Threshold and Licence Suspension
The demerit points threshold varies depending on the type of licence you hold:
- Unrestricted Licence Holders: If you hold an unrestricted licence and accumulate 13 or more demerit points within any 3-year period, you will face a licence suspension.
- Provisional P2 Licence Holders: If you hold a P2 licence and accumulate 7 or more demerit points within any 3-year period, you will face a licence suspension.
- Provisional P1 or Learner Licence Holders: If you hold a P1 or learner licence and accumulate 4 or more demerit points within any 3-year period, you will face a licence suspension.
The length of the suspension will depend on the number of demerit points you have accumulated. For unrestricted licence holders, the suspension period ranges from 3 months (for 13-15 demerit points) to 5 months (for 20 or more demerit points).
Demerit Points Restoration
Demerit points are not removed from your driving record, but they will only affect your licence status for a period of 3 years from the date of the offence. After 3 years, the points associated with a specific offence will no longer count towards your demerit point total or lead to a licence suspension. However, the offence will still remain on your driving record.
Challenging the Loss of Demerit Points
If you believe that you have been incorrectly issued a traffic infringement notice and wish to dispute the demerit points associated with the offence, you can choose to contest the infringement in court. It is advisable to seek legal advice before deciding to contest an infringement in court as there may be legal costs involved, and if you are unsuccessful, you may face a higher penalty.
To contest a traffic infringement notice in court, you will need to complete a ‘Court Election Form,’ which is usually available on the back of the infringement notice, and submit it to the address specified on the form. You will then receive a court attendance notice with the date you need to appear in court.
The Demerit Points System in NSW is designed to encourage safe driving by penalising repeat offenders. It is essential to be aware of how demerit points are calculated, the demerit points threshold for your licence type, and the options available if you accumulate too many demerit points. If you believe you have been incorrectly issued demerit points, it is advisable to seek legal advice and consider contesting the infringement in court.