Demerit points relief for safe NSW drivers
All unrestricted NSW licence holders – including professional drivers – are eligible for a demerit point reduction trial that aims to reward responsible driving behaviour. The initiative blends the traditional ‘stick’ approach with a ‘carrot’.
If eligible drivers maintain an offence-free record during the trial period, one demerit point is removed from their driving record. There is no need to register for the trial, because all unrestricted licence holders are automatically included. Learner and provisional licence holders are not included in the trial, because of the strict driving behaviour conditions of the Graduated Licensing Scheme.
The trial was announced as policy during the NSW state election process and was originally timed to start on July 1, 2023. However, the Minns Government has brought it forward, retrospectively.
The trial has been effectively running since January this year and will end in January 2024. Transport for NSW has a ‘snapshot’ of the demerit point register as it stood on January 17, 2023, identifying all unrestricted and professional licence holders who have active demerit points recorded against them.
Drivers who have maintained a clean record since January 17 this year will need to continue that spotless behaviour until January 17 next year, to have a demerit point removed from their records. It normally takes three years for a demerit point to be expunged.
It is expected to take about three months to finalise offences, so eligible drivers should see one demerit point removed from their records, starting in mid-April 2024.
NSW Premier Chris Minns, said:
“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.
“It’s time we put safety back at the centre of our road rules, not revenue raising.
“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.
NSW Minister for Roads, John Graham, said:
“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.
“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.
“We need everyone to work together to create a safer driving environment and ultimately push road trauma to zero.
“The 12-month trial will be closely examined to assess its impact on road safety and the effectiveness of the demerit point changes.”