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Operation Drink Drive 1 and Operation Saturation

Posted in Licencing & Registration
Friday, 21 February 2014

NSW police launched two major road safety campaigns this week.

Operation Drink Drive 1 commenced on Thursday and runs until midnight on Saturday, 22 February. As the name implies, it is aimed at drink driving.

Operation Saturation is a blitz on speeding which commences immediately after Operation Drink Drive 1 and runs for one month.

So far, 2014 has been a bad year for road trauma. According to the NSW Police Force press release, in the first 48 days of 2014, 57 people lost their lives on NSW roads, a 50% increase over the same period last year during which 38 people lost their lives. According to the press release alcohol was a major factor in about one in seven crashes involving a fatality.

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner - Specialist Operations, Catherine Burn makes it clear that whilst random breath testing has had a major impact on the number of road deaths, the task is ongoing. She said "In the year before we introduced RBT in NSW, the road toll was almost 1,300, compared to last years record low of 339. Nevertheless, many people just don't seem to be getting the message about the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol. In 2013, we charged about 22,000 people with drink-driving offences".

Police will conduct a high number of random breath tests this weekend. We can also expect to see a high police profile during the blitz on speeding.

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Troubles with the M5

Posted in Traffic
Friday, 14 February 2014

Problems with the M5 again this morning.

Before 6.00am there was a car broken down in the left lane eastbound, just before King Georges road. A good run was halted. Traffic was backed-up...again.

Maybe this is just a wasted lament, but it seems that it does not take much to go wrong for the M5 to grind to a halt.

Accidents on the M5 are frequent. An accident guarantees a dreadfully slow run, even if the cars involved in the accident are well away from the traffic lanes. In fact, accidents even affect traffic traveling in the opposite direction. It seems that a lot of drivers can not drive past an accident scene without slowing down to look at what has happened, resulting in the slow procession past the accident scene.

There has to be a better way of dealing with accidents on expressways. If the vehicles involved in an accident can be driven, the vehicles should be driven off the expressway at the next exit so that the drivers can exchange details without causing chaos. If vehicles need to be towed, they should be towed as soon as possible.

The issues with accidents and breakdowns on the M5 are repeated everyday on roads around Sydney.

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Double Demerits - Christmas, New Year 2013/14

Posted in Licencing & Registration
Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Double demerits will apply again over the Christmas, New Year period.

Double demerits will commence at midnight on Thursday 19 December 2013 and will be in place until midnight on Thursday 2 January 2014.

Double demerits apply for speeding, seatbelt and motor cycle helmet offences.

Under the demerit point scheme, demerit points are accumulated against your driving licence for a series of specified driving offences. If you accumulate points in excess of a threshold within a three year period, your licence will be suspended or refused.

The thresholds are as follows:
Unrestricted Licence – 13 points
Unrestricted Licence, Professional Driver – 14 points
Unrestricted Licence, Good Behavior Period – 2 points (within the good behavior period)
P2 Licence (green P plate) – 7 points
P1 Licence (red P plate) – 4 points
Learner Licence – 4 points.

Examples of the demerit points that can be accumulated during a double demerit period are set out below:
Exceed speed limit by more than 20 km/h but not more than 30 km/h – 8 points
Exceed speed limit by more than 10 km/h but not more than 20 km/h – 6 points
Exceed speed limit by not more than 10 km/h – 2 points
Drive vehicle not wearing a seat belt and with two or more unrestrained passengers – 18 points
Drive vehicle not wearing seat belt and with one unrestrained passenger – 12 points
Drive vehicle not wearing a seat belt (no unrestrained passengers) – 6 points
Ride motorbike without approved motor bike helmet and with one unhelmeted passenger – 12 points
Ride motorbike without approved motor bike helmet (rider alone) – 6 points

The application of double demerits can be severe and can easily result in you exceeding your threshold, particularly if you are on a provisional or learner licence. If you are on an unrestricted licence with good behaviour period, any double demerits for speeding, seatbelt or helmet offences during the good behaviour period can result in the loss of you licence.

The message is to slow down and drive safely over the Christmas, New Year period.

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Tolls. How much are you paying?

Posted in Licencing & Registration
Monday, 04 November 2013

Have you worked out how much you are paying in tolls on a daily, monthly or annual basis?

If you drive to work in Sydney it is highly likely you will be hit with a toll somewhere in your trip. Some drivers can pay up to 5 or 6 tolls in a return trip to work each day. The impost would be even higher for professional drivers such as couriers, taxi drivers and truck drivers.

As an example, a drive from Campbelltown or Liverpool to the city and return in a passenger car can cost as much as $24.47 per day. That is $489.40 per month or $5,872.80 per year.

If you drive from Liverpool to the city, there is the M5 ($4.40), Eastern Distributor ($6.17) and the Cross City Tunnel ($4.95). On the way home, there is the Cross City Tunnel and the M5 again. Luckily, the Eastern Distributor only charges for north bound journeys.

The trap is that you pay each toll by way of draw down of funds from your account. It is easy to overlook the total cost.

How much do you pay in tolls?

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Double Demerits October 2013

Posted in Licencing & Registration
Thursday, 03 October 2013

Do not forget that double demerits apply this weekend.

Double demerits apply from midnight on Thursday 3 October 2013 until midnight on Monday 7 October 2013.

Double demerits apply to speeding, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences.

Double demerits can quickly add up to the allowed maximum of 13 points for most fully licenced drivers.

For example, a driver not wearing a seatbelt will accumulate 6 points this weekend. If the driver also has one passenger not wearing a seatbelt 12 points will be accumulated and if there are two passengers in addition to the driver not wearing a seatbelt, 18 points will be accumulated, resulting in the loss of the driver's licence.

Exceeding the speed limit by 10 to 20 km/h will result in 6 demerit points for a driver on a full licence.

Drive carefully and enjoy the weekend.

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