If you are a professional driver who spends countless hours behind the wheel, then I’m guessing it would come as no surprise that it pays to monitor one's accrual of demerit points just in case you reach that critical level of 13 points.
That’s right, for those drivers unaware of the change that came into being on the 31st January 2011, under the NSW State Labour Government, the lucky license holders in NSW received an extra point, going from 12 to 13, at which time your licence would be automatically suspended.
Professional drivers (you'll first need to prove that you fit the criteria) who attract all thirteen points and lose their license can apply for an additional point to allow them to keep working. What about if you need a car to get to work for any number of sound reasons, does that count too?
Did you also know, that on 31 December 2010, the RTA reduced or removed demerit points for twenty-two offences committed on or after this date. Naturally speeding and seat-belt related infringements were untouched in the re-evaluation.
Yes, I know, it sounds like progress, but just when we thought we were making headway with the hordes of right lane hogs in this country, the RTA saw fit to reduce the demerit points from three to two, if caught driving in the right lane with a speed limit over 80km/h.
The same goes for disobeying the ‘keep left unless overtaking’ rule, which also went from three points down to two. Ever tried safely overtaking someone doing 75km/h in the right lane without exceeding the 80km/h speed limit itself, or worse still, have you been booked for doing so?
And if you still have trouble with roundabouts, don’t give it a second thought, it seems almost any offense committed inside one of those has gone from two demerit points to zero.
For those folks towing a trailer, it’s even better news. For not displaying a warning flag as required (that’s what it says on the RTA website, ‘as required’) you won’t lose a single point if you don’t have a flag on the timber hanging out the back of the trailer.
More good news for Bus Lane converts, those drivers will only cop a one-point demerit, (that’s down from three), while tram lane (do we have any of those in NSW?) travellers, won’t lose a single point.
Of course, we’re still peeved about the RTA holding on to those points of yours for an extra four months after the three-year suspension period, while they sort out how to return them to your licence.
Do you think it’s time for a complete overhaul of traffic laws, licencing, penalties and road funding processes?