This article will outline how demerit points are calculated, when points are restored, and how you can challenge the loss of points in Queensland.
The Demerit Points System is an essential part of the road safety initiative in Queensland, Australia. It is designed to encourage safe and responsible driving by penalising drivers who repeatedly commit traffic offences.
Demerit Points Calculation
In Queensland, 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 8 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 failing to wear a seatbelt, attract 3 demerit points.
The Department of Transport and Main Roads 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:
Open Licence Holders: If you hold an open licence and accumulate 12 or more demerit points within any 3-year period, you will be sent a Notice of Intention to Suspend Your Licence.
Provisional, Probationary or Learner Licence Holders: If you hold a provisional, probationary, or learner licence and accumulate 4 or more demerit points within a 1-year period, you will receive a Notice of Intention to Suspend Your Licence.
When you receive a Notice of Intention to Suspend Your Licence, you will have the option to:
- Accept the suspension, which will be for a minimum of 3 months, or
- Choose a 12-month good behaviour driving period. If you choose this option and accumulate 2 or more demerit points during the 12-month period, your licence will be suspended for double the original suspension period.
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 notice to appear in court on a specific date.
The Demerit Points System in Queensland 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.