NSW to trial new demerit point scheme

A new demerit point scheme, which aims to reward responsible driving behaviour, is being trialled in NSW.

More than 1.7 million licence holders, including truck drivers, will be able to have one demerit point scrubbed from their driving record if they maintain an offence-free record during the trial period.

Drivers who have maintained a clean record since January 17 this year and maintain that until January 17, 2024, will qualify to have a demerit point removed from their record. Normally it would take three years for a demerit point to be expunged.

There is no need to register for the trial, as all unrestricted licence holders are automatically included.

“Reducing the road toll and rewarding safe driving across the state is the aim of this trial and we hope it gives drivers that little bit of extra incentive to achieve a spotless record,” said NSW Premier Chris Minn.

“This is an appropriate way for good drivers to earn a point back. Our message couldn’t be clearer: drive safely and you’ll get a point scrubbed from your licence. The more people who qualify for a point, the safer our roads.”

The trial was announced during the state election and was due to start on July 1, but has been brought forward by six months.

It is expected to take about three months to finalise offences, so eligible driver will start seeing one demerit point removed from their records starting in mid-April 2024.

Transport for NSW will take a ‘snapshot’ of the demerit point register as it stood on January 17 this year – the day the initiative was announced – to identify all unrestricted and professional licence holders with active demerit points recorded against them.

“Drivers in NSW are very much used to the stick approach, so this demerit trial is an important carrot for them to maintain a clean record over a 12-month period to the benefit of all motorists, pedestrians, and communities,” said Minister for Roads, John Graham.

“Under the previous government, there were almost a million demerit points on records, yet the road toll was rising. Now is the time to try the carrot approach and reward good behaviour.”

Learner and provisional licence holders are not included in the trial.

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