WA’s Traffic Rules and Penalties
There are many road rules for every motorist to follow in Western Australia. It is recommended that whenever you apply for a driver’s license you should familiarize yourself with these rules so that you will not commit traffic violations and be a danger to the public.
The penalties for road rules infractions vary. Minor offences and first time offenders are most likely to receive demerit points and fines. Examples of offences that are penalized with demerit points and fines are speeding, not wearing of seatbelts, violation of traffic rules or signs, driving without license, failure to stop at an accident and undue smoke or noise coming from the vehicle. Illegal use of mobile phone is punishable with a $250 fine and 3 demerit points. Having a television screen or any type of visual display unit that obstructs the normal driving position is illegal and the penalty is a fine of $100 and 3 demerit points.
Major offences like drug and drink driving are punished with disqualification from driving, cancellation of license, heavy fines and even imprisonment. First time offenders will get the minimum penalties like the least number of months of disqualification from driving and the lowest fines. Usually, there will be no imprisonment for first time offenders. Habitual offenders are not so lucky since they will most likely get a longer period of disqualification from driving and imprisonment. Penalties may also be through community service, drug rehabilitation programs and confiscation or impoundment of vehicle.
Other offences that are punishable with fine, disqualification from driving and/or imprisonment are driving while disqualified or suspended, refusal to take a breath test, failure to stop when requested by the police, dangerous and reckless driving.
There are also instances when accumulation of demerit points will lead to loss of license. Novice drivers have to be especially careful because they are restricted to an accumulation of 4 to 8 demerit points.
The double demerit points system was imposed to deter careless and dangerous driving during long weekends and holidays. Double demerits will be imposed if the following offences are committed during long weekends and holidays:
- seatbelt offences;
- violating a red light;
- illegal use of mobile phones;
- failure to provide blood sample to police; and
- driving with a blood alcohol concentration of at or above 0.05.
Double demerits will apply during the Queen’s Birthday (Friday 26 September to Monday 29 September 2014) and Christmas (Friday 19 December 2014 to Sunday 4 January 2015).