Don’t let these driving offences ruin your Easter weekend

Speed limit sign.
Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash.

Ready to cut loose and hit the road this Easter? A year of limited travel options has certainly left a lot of us itching to fly free. Now don't get us wrong we totally understand your need to escape. We just don't want a speeding ticket or double demerit points to spoil your long weekend.

To make sure you have the most fun you can have, we've come up with a list of driving offences to avoid. These are:

Speeding

Punishments for driving over the speed limit include a fine, demerit points, a suspended licence and even in some cases prison time. Add to this the fact that speeding is just very dangerous. Not only does it put the driver in question in danger, but it also puts others at risk.

As mentioned in a previous article, speeding is one of the most common causes of fatality on the road. On top of this, double demerit points apply for speeding on a public holiday in the ACT, NSW and WA. So to better enjoy your long weekend, better to stick to the speed limit.

Not wearing a seatbelt

In every state and territory in Australia not wearing a seatbelt is an offence. Fines apply no matter where you are and will increase if you also have passengers not wearing a seatbelt. You'll also accrue demerit points, which again will be doubled if you're in the ACT, NSW or WA.

While other states and territories don't have the same double demerit penalty system during public holidays, you could still lose your licence if you accrue enough points. It's also worth noting that in Queensland, if you commit the same offence twice in 12 months, the second time you will be slapped with double demerit points.

Using a mobile phone

You won't find anywhere in Australia where using a handheld mobile phone is legal. That's because it's dangerous. Research has shown that drivers using a mobile phone are four times more likely to be involved in a serious crash.

Depending on where you live, drivers with a completely unrestricted licence may be able to use a handsfree mobile phone. Learners or drivers with a P1 or P2 licence on the other hand will often not be able to use a mobile phone at all. Some states and territories also have restrictions around drivers under 25 using a mobile phone in any capacity. It's definitely a good idea to check what the rules are where you live. You don't want your long weekend to be marred with double demerit points or a fine.

Drink driving

As it's the long weekend you may be keen to get merry and have a drink or two. This is fine as long as you don't get behind the wheel. Drinking and driving is illegal all over Australia. According to Better Health Victoria, one in four drivers killed in the state every year are found to be over the legal BAC limit. That's the 'blood alcohol concentration' limit.

The legal BAC limit for fully licensed drivers in Australia is 0.05. The limit for drivers with a restricted licence or drivers of a certain type of vehicle is 0. This includes learners, P1 or P2 drivers, bus and taxi drivers and truck drivers with a load over 15 tonnes.

Riding without a helmet

Riding a motorcycle without a helmet is also an offence. If you're caught doing this you'll be hit with demerit points and most likely a fine. That counts for any passengers you have who are also not wearing a helmet.

Plus, on public holidays you could receive double demerit points if you live somewhere where double demerit points apply. To avoid this and to stay safe on the road, make sure you remember to helmet up before hopping on your bike.

Don't forget your insurance

Lastly, if you do commit any of these driving offences, the next time you renew your car insurance your premium will probably go up. This is because your insurance provider takes into account your driving history when working out how much you should pay.

So for a stress-free getaway it's really best to just play by the rules and stay safe. In the meantime, if you're thinking about switching policies, head to Mozo's compare car insurance page. Or check out the cover options below.

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