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More than 1.7 million drivers will be eligible to have a demerit point scrubbed from their licence record as the NSW Government’s trial to encourage safer driving comes into effect six months sooner than flagged.
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 qualify to have a demerit point removed from their record.
Announced during the state election, the trial had originally been slated to start on July 1, but the Minns Government is determined to allow drivers who do the right the chance to shed a demerit point sooner.
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.
Under the 12-month trial, eligible motorists who have at least one demerit point on their record from January 17 but remain offence-free for 12 months to January 17, 2024, will have one demerit point removed from their driving record. 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 driver will start seeing one demerit point removed from their records starting in mid-April 2024.
Learner and provisional licence holders are not included in the trial given they are subject to strict conditions of the Graduated Licensing Scheme.
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.”
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."