8 August 2023

Green light for NSW drivers to have demerit point scrubbed after offence-free year

| Jarryd Rowley
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NSW drivers will have the chance to have a demerit point expunged from their licences thanks to a new bill passed by the State Government. Photo: Supplied.

The New South Wales Government has recently passed a bill allowing NSW drivers to have a demerit point wiped from their licences.

The Road Transport Amendment (Demerit Point Reduction Trial) Bill passed through both the Upper and Lower Houses early last week, allowing for any driver who has not committed an offence between 17 January, 2023, and 17 January, 2024, to have a point erased.

The Government said it may take up to three months after the January 2024 date for any offences to be finalised, meaning that points won’t be removed until mid-April 2024.

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Despite the 15-month wait period, the Government is encouraging drivers to apply for the program when it becomes available next year as the normal wait time for demerits to be expunged from a licence is three years.

The new program will not be available to Provisional licence holders or drivers with learner licences due to the strict conditions of the NSW Graduated Licensing Scheme.

The trial was originally slated to begin on 1 July, 2024, but Premier Chris Minns said the Government was determined to give drivers who did the right thing a chance to shed a demerit point sooner.

“This is good news for safe driving,” Mr Minns said.

”We want to encourage drivers to do the right thing, which is why we are adding this incentive into the licence system rather than only relying on deterrents and demerits to get the road safety message through.

“Reducing the road toll and rewarding safe driving across the state is the aim of this trial and I am pleased the Parliament agreed, with bipartisan support.

“It’s time we put safety back at the centre of our road rules, not revenue raising.”

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Minister for Roads John Graham said the demerit trial was an important carrot for drivers to remain offence-free over 12 months.

“We will closely watch the results to see if there is a net safety benefit for motorists, pedestrians and communities,” Mr Graham said.

“Under the previous government, there were almost a million demerit points on record and the road toll still rising. We are trying something different to encourage drivers to do the right thing and improve safety on our roads. We can’t expect to keep doing the same thing and get different results.”

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