The New South Wales government is initiating a trial that will remove one demerit point for displaying spotless driving behaviour.
Drivers who have maintained a clean driving record since January 17, 2023, and continue to do so until January 17, 2024, will be able to take off one demerit point from their record.
Originally planned to start on 1 July 2023, the scheme will benefit up to 1.7 million drivers. Currently, demerit points stay on a driver’s record for three years until it can be removed. Learner and provisional licence holders aren’t included in the trial.
According to the Government, it is expecting to take three months to finalise offences so eligible drivers will start seeing one demerit point removed from their driving records starting in mid-April 2024.
“We regard it as an important initiative. For a long time in NSW, the focus in relation to demerit points was about revenue raising,” said NSW Premier Chris Minns.
“We’re not saying every point will be returned, and we’re certainly not saying that drivers that are chronically racking up points will be able to be eligible to have all their points returned.
“But one point back, particularly if you’re on the precipice of losing your license is a big incentive to do the right thing.”
“I’d much rather be in a position where someone didn’t collect a demerit point or a fine in the first place (and is instead) incentivised to do the right thing on NSW roads.”
On the other hand, Roads Minister John Graham emphasised that the sustainability of the project hinges on its ability to reduce fines associated with driving violations.
“We’ll look at the evidence here about what it does, but it’s a big call-out to the community to say: Let’s try road safe behaviour,” he said.
“It’s the right time to try something new.”
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