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Extra Demerit Points for Truck Drivers

Many truck drives are frustrated that the demerit point system fails to recognise that they are on the road for far more hours than the average driver. Their concern is justified.

The extra time on the road means that it’s more likely that they will use up their demerit points with minor mistakes. Yet, most States don’t make any allowance for this.

New South Wales is the only State that currently offers professional drivers some leeway in recognition of the large number of hours that they spend on the road.

New South Wales offers one extra demerit point to professional drivers who hold an unrestricted licence. It is only a small gesture, however it can be the difference between a licence suspension or not.

How do you go about claiming your extra point if you are lucky enough to hold a New South Wales licence? You claim the extra point once you receive a notice of suspension for exceeding the demerit point limit that applies to general drivers.

Professional drivers seeking to claim the additional point must attend an RMS motor registry and provide information about their employment. The RMS may call your employer to verify the information.

There are some additional criteria that drivers need to meet to claim the extra point. They must:

  • Either drive a truck that transports goods or a bus, taxi or hire car.
  • Be employed driving at least 20 hours per week.
  • Be a professional driver at the time of their last offence.

Unfortunately, none of the other States offer this reprieve. Instead their professional drivers are given the same amount of points as all other drivers.

It doesn’t seem likely that those States will follow New South Wales’ lead any time soon. Perhaps this is an issue that the trucking industry’s representative bodies should be raising with legislators.

Image Credit – Welcomia ©

Written by John Sutton on July 2, 2017

John is the National Director of Criminal Law at Armstrong Legal. The experience John possesses, being a high quality mix of defence and prosecution skills, together with his team at Armstrong Legal, mean you can be certain of accurate, dependable and practical advice on how your matter can dealt with. View John's profile

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