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Drivers are being urged to take care and slow down on the roads as double demerit points kick off in some states today.

Each state is different but a strong focus has been placed on speeding, seatbelt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences.

In NSW and the ACT, drivers will cop double the amount of demerit points from December 21 to January 1 inclusive.

Western Australia’s double demerits also start today and have been extended through until January 6.
Drivers caught using their phones could lose their licence in NSW after the state government earlier this year increased the demerit point penalty from four points to five.

This means that if you are caught using your phone behind the wheel during the holiday period you could be penalised 10 demerit points, on top of a $337 fine.

While Queensland does not introduce double demerit points during holiday periods, double demerits apply all year-round for repeat offenders.

South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and the Northern Territory do not enforce double demerit points, but those caught doing the wrong thing can still expect some sizeable fines.

In SA, not wearing a seatbelt will land you a $423 fine and three points, while running a red light is a $337 fine and two points.

Using your phone while driving in Victoria will result in a $484 fine and four demerit points.

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said it was not worth taking the risk this holiday season.

“With Christmas and New Year just days away, there are plenty of people out on the roads enjoying celebrations and travelling to see friends and family,” Ms Pabey said.

“If you’re one of them, make sure you plan, get a good night’s sleep, drive to the conditions, stick to the speed limit and never ever risk driving if there’s a chance you could be affected by drugs or alcohol.”