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Friday, February 26, 2021

Double demerits apply on ACT roads from midnight tonight

Ahead of the Australia Day double demerit period, ACT Policing is reminding drivers that police will be on the lookout for various traffic offences, not just speeding.

Double demerits will be in place from 12.00am Friday 22 January to 11.59pm Tuesday 26 January.

All speeding, seatbelt and mobile phone offences will attract double demerits during this period.

And those travelling on two wheels are warned not to ride without a helmet, which also incurs double demerits.

All other traffic offences will result in the loss of one additional demerit point.

Given the COVID-19 situation disrupted previous summer travel plans, ACT Policing Acting Inspector Nathan Macklin said this weekend will be the first opportunity for some to “get away from Canberra in some months”.

“As such, roads in and out of Canberra are expected to be busy, almost certainly busier than usual,” he said.

“But whether you are travelling interstate, or simply travelling in and around the ACT over the next few days, road safety remains the responsibility of all road users.”

Acting Inspector Macklin asked drivers to take their time getting to their destination and encouraged regular breaks.

Busier highways may mean traffic congestion and he encouraged patience in those circumstances.

“We want everyone to use our roads safely and respectfully.”

For those heading interstate, NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol will also be targeting bad behaviour on roads across the border.

The NSW double demerit point scheme applies to the same offences as those highlighted in the ACT: speeding, illegal use of mobile phones, not wearing a seatbelt and riding without a helmet.

The strict enforcement of road rules this Australia Day period comes just days after the first death on ACT roads in 2021.

On Monday 18 January, the body of 21-year-old motorcyclist Alex Coppinger was located near Paddys River Road in Tidbinbilla.

Mr Coppinger was reported missing after he failed to return home from a solo ride in the area.

ACT Policing Detective Inspector Marcus Boorman said the circumstances of the crash were unclear and ACT Policing Major Collision will investigate and prepare a report for the Coroner.

“One death is too many,” Detective Inspector Boorman said. 

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