In December 2017, 40 people tragically lost their lives on our roads. This was 28 more than in December 2016. The good news is 35 fewer people died in 2018, compared to 2017. This holiday season we want to see that encouraging trend continue.
The NSW government is doing its bit to promote road safety. In 2018 it passed a number of laws, mostly about drink or drug driving:
- On-the-spot fines and 3 month licence suspensions for low-range drink driving and drug presence
- Mandatory alcohol interlock program extended to middle-range drink driving first time offenders
- Penalties for driving under the influence aligned with high-range drink driving
- Vehicle sanctions for high-risk, repeat drink driving offenders
- Cocaine now part of roadside mobile drug testing.
The government will fund 50 more highway patrol officers in regional areas. This will increase roadside alcohol testing and double mobile drug testing. The target is 200,000 drug tests each year by 2020.
Lose your licence – too easy
In a world first, the government now uses camera-based technology to detect illegal mobile phone use. Already demerit points for mobile phone offences have increased from 4 to 5. This meant 8 to 10 during the double demerit period over the Christmas holiday. It is still very easy to lose your licence.
For the safety of cyclists, the minimum passing distance rule is now permanent. Children under 16 (up from 12) can now ride bicycles on the footpath. Supervising adults may do the same.
It appears the chances of being caught using a mobile or drink/drug driving have increased. Numerous studies show the risk of being caught puts people off more than the severity of the punishment.
So drive safely this Summer holiday, for your own wellbeing and for others. And make sure you are insured.
Writer and Researcher
Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered firsthand what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years of writing and research in financial services, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Working to deadlines all her life, customers count on her for fast service. Easy. Done.