Drivers caught using mobile phones behind the wheel this holiday period will face the loss of double demerit points as the Government steps up its efforts to help prevent fatalities on ACT roads.
Minister for Justice, Shane Rattenbury, announced the measures, sending a strong message to the community that using mobile devices while driving was dangerous and would not be tolerated on ACT roads.
“Double demerits apply to all speeding and seatbelt offences and all other driving and traffic offences incur an additional demerit point during holiday periods in the ACT. However, this is the first time offenders will be issued double demerit points when caught using mobile devices.
“Double demerit points will apply from 24 December to 3 January 2016, inclusive. Drivers who commit a mobile phone offence will incur six demerit points and a fine of $386, and risk having their licence suspended. The changes will align the ACT’s traffic penalties during holiday periods with NSW.
“We want all families to avoid tragedy on our roads during the holiday period. Drivers can lose up to six points in one go for using their mobile devices while driving, which constitutes about half a fully licensed driver.”
“As well as mobile device offences, from 24 December double demerits will also apply for riding a motorbike without a helmet and for driving with a passenger in or on part of a vehicle not designed for the carriage of passengers or goods.
“ACT Policing will actively target drivers who commit these traffic offences during this coming holiday period, so drivers must be aware that if they break the law the consequences are severe,” Mr Rattenbury said.
“But the consequences for these offences can become far more catastrophic with the loss of a loved one on the road during Christmas. We are aiming for no-one to be killed or injured on our roads over the holidays or at any time. To achieve this we need all drivers to follow the road rules and drive safely.”