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Demerit points are a score system used on an individual’s driving record in order to indicate the status of that person’s entitlement to a driving license. The more points a driver accrues, the greater the risk of the loss of their license. A driving license is an endorsement by a government approved driving instructor indicating that the driver is fit to drive safely and capable of operating a vehicle responsibly and within the confines of the law. The primary concern of any vehicle licensing body is road safety, which is the primary reason demerit points systems exist. In this article we take a look at some offences and their associated points.
The first one is a minor offence, but it’s one that a lot of us are guilty of a lot more than one would think. Have you ever been that guy driving home at night and just as you are going up a hill, another guy crests the top with his headlights on full beam? You’re now expecting him to lower his beam but he fails to and dazzles you instead. This offence can actually get you two demerit points if an officer of the law happens to see the offence or, as in some unfortunate cases, be the victim of the offence.
Next we have another seemingly minor offence with a demerit points total of only one point. Upon examination however, it’s an extremely dangerous offence and one which the writer of this article believes should carry more than a single point. The offence is that of failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing. Since it’s only an offence to stop at such a crossing when it’s in use, it surely means that there is gross endangerment to life and therefore should carry a heavier penalty.
Given that people break the speed limit every single day, it’s hardly surprising that the penalty for this is quite high. Travelling at a speed between 30 and 49 km/h greater than the legal speed limit will net you four points on your license while exceeding the speed limit by 16 to 29km/h will get you three. Anything below that will get you a warning and possibly a ticket the first time and for repeat offenders demerit points are a distinct possibility.
Arriving at the thick end of the wedge we are in 6+ country. A growing number of the population has now taken it upon themselves to become the next Dom Turetto with souped up racing cars revving their way noisily and in most cases dangerously through our towns and cities. The penalty for racing is six points and it’s considered akin to reckless driving or failing to stop for a school bus.
Moving into the 7-point territory we have some of the grimmer offences. Should you see flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror it’s a good idea to stop as failure to do so when requested to do so by an officer of the law will simply see you rewarded with seven points on your license, as will failing to remain at the scene of an accident.
Demerit points will stay on your license for two years so it’s a good idea to take your time, slow down and above all else, stay safe!