Western Australia Minister for Transport Simon O’Brien
New Demerit Point System For Novice Drivers
Victor P Taffa
Western Australia’s Novice Drivers will be subjected to new, stricter licence controls from next month.
Transport Minister Simon O’Brien said from December 1 a new Demerit Point System would reduce the number of demerit points available to learner and P-plate drivers.
The measures followed recommendations from the Road Safety Council and have had Bipartisan support in State Parliament.
“The State Government is very concerned about the high number of novice drivers involved in road crashes.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“Improving road user behaviour is critical in saving lives and preventing injuries, and reducing the number of available Demerit Points will make novice drivers stop and think about their driving habits.”
“Research shows that people who accrue Demerit Points as Novice Drivers are 66 % more likely to be involved in a crash. If we help Novice Drivers focus on the road rules now, it is likely they will keep their safer driving practices with them throughout their driving life and that’s good news for all road users.”
From December 1, 2010 there will be two types of Novice Drivers with new Demerit Point Limits:
Novice Driver Type 1
Type 1 novice drivers are those that have not held a driver’s licence for at least one year, or periods adding up to one year, and will only be able to have three demerit points recorded against them in their first year of driving. This includes first time Learner’s Permit holders. If a Type 1 novice driver gains four or more demerit points, their driver’s licence will be cancelled and they will be disqualified from obtaining another driver’s licence for at least three months.
Novice Driver Type 2
Type 2 novice drivers are those that have held a driver’s licence for more than one year but less than two years, and will only be able to have seven demerit points recorded against them up until the end of the second year of driving. If they gain eight or more demerit points, their driver’s licence will be cancelled and they will be disqualified from obtaining another driver’s licence for at least three months.
The Minister said demerit points recorded against novice drivers before December 1, 2010 would not count towards the new system, but demerit points incurred before that date would still count towards the current Demerit Point Limit of 12 Points.
“This system brings us in line with other Australian States and we think it offers greater encouragement for younger drivers to obey the road rules and stay safe.” the Minister said.
Mr. O’Brien said the Department of Transport would contact all novice drivers and provide them with detailed information about the new system.