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Criminal Law Blog WA

Mobile phone motorist in Western Australia may receive demerit license points if caught by the police officers in motorcycle.

Western Australia Police implemented a new campaign against motorists and drivers who use their mobile phones while driving. The so called new weapon in the police arsenal is the helmet cameras which can record the act of using mobile phones on the spot.

The Police officers will be riding on unmarked motorcycles in this undercover operation and it will contribute to the police road safety campaign dubbed as Operation Crossroads.

The officers on their motorcycles can immediately spot the offence as it happen and record the same immediately. Once they have confirmed the vehicle, they will notify a nearby marked police car and/or bike in order to apprehend the traffic law offender. Once they have intercepted the vehicle of the offender, the driver may lose their license points.

This campaign is being implemented due to the increasing number of road accidents involving drivers who uses their mobile phones while driving. Distracted drivers have a high of tendency to be involved in a collision and road accident and a major contributor to these drivers is the usage of mobile phone while driving.

Demerit License Points are penalty imposed for a range of driving offences. Under the Western Australia the issuance of these demerit points will help in disciplining the motorist and road users. Under this system, motorist will be encouraged to practice responsible and safe driving. This will aid in their campaign to minimize and ultimately prevent road accidents and fatalities.

Drivers and motorist can be sanctioned with a demerit point suspension if they have been holding their driver’s license for over 2 years and have accumulated a total of 12 or more demerit license points within a 3 year period. A demerit point suspension will suspend the license of the driver and cannot drive for a certain period according to their accumulated demerit license points. If the demerit accrued to 16 license points the suspension will be 3 months, for 16 to less than 20 points the driver is suspended for 4 months and if the demerit points is 20 or more he will receive a 5 month suspension. This suspension will usually begin 28 days after receiving a personally served demerit points notice.

The driver may lose his license when he reaches 12 or more demerit licence points and he can avoid suspension and losing his license by undergoing a process called “double or nothing”. This process allows the driver to choose to drive in a careful and responsible manner and be of good behaviour for a period of 12 months. If he s successful he will not lose his licence. Good behaviour in this context means that the driver, for a period of 12 months, must not: accumulate two or more demerit points; or commit another offence which will result in disqualification. In order to avail this process, the driver must apply for it within 21 days after he received the excess demerit point notice.

The driver will need to submit Form E18 (Good Behaviour Form) to the Director General for Transport within the 21 days allowed by law. This form is available at any licensing centre, regional licensing agent or online at http://www.transport.wa.gov.au/. The driver applying for a Good Behaviour needs to fill up and submit this form to any licensing centre, regional licensing agent or to PO Box 8090, East Perth, WA, 6892.

If the driver breached the conditions of the Good Behaviour Form that he had submitted, he will lose his licence and it will be suspended twice the length of time than it was originally imposed before the driver filed his Good Behaviour Form. An additional sanction for the breach of good behaviour period will also be imposed.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

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