Earning points is usually a good thing. Frequent flyer points could get you an upgrade, store loyalty points might earn you a discount and with enough foursquare points you could become mayor of your favourite juice bar.
Demerit points, on the other hand, don’t work that way. In fact, it’s the opposite. Earn enough points and you’ll end up losing (your licence) rather than winning.
Learner and P1 drivers can kiss their licence goodbye for at least three months if they get four or more demerit points over three years.
P2 drivers face losing their right to drive if they get seven or more points.
Once an unrestricted licence driver reaches 13 demerit points, they’ll be finding other ways to get around.
The best and simplest way to avoid demerit points is to always drive or ride safely and sensibly. But to really spell it out:
- Don’t speed – learner and P1 drivers will get at least four points if they’re caught speeding, which means your licence is gone straight away.
- Don’t drink and drive – learner and P1 drivers can’t drink any alcohol if they’re planning to drive. If you blow more than 0.00, be ready to go to court and hand over your licence.
- Don’t use your mobile – it’s illegal for leaner and P1 drivers to use a phone while driving, in any way. That includes answering or making calls (even hands-free), sending or reading text messages, updating Facebook or checking Twitter.
- Wear your signs with pride – your L or P signs should be attached to the outside of your car, front and back. If you’re spotted with them propped up on the dash or taped to the inside windows, you’ll cop two demerit points and a fine. The same applies if all of the letter P or L cannot be seen.
- One mate only – P1 drivers under 25 can carry only one passenger younger than 21 in the car with them between 11pm and 5am. Make sure you aren’t caught playing ‘taxi driver’ for your mates during these hours, its three points if you do.
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