ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

The Private Life of Demerit Points

Kinch, Matthew, Boskovitz, Agnes



This is an analysis of the demerit points of repeat traffic offenders to examine their characteristics, differences and offence patterns in order to help better targeting of road safety enforcement and education programs.

The analysis used data from the ACT driver-licensing system to analyse the offence records of drivers that have accrued demerit points or had their licences cancelled or suspended. These drivers were split into ?high rollers? (more than 7 demerit points) and ?low rollers? (less than 8 demerit points). Information collected included the age of the person and the types of offences committed.

The most common offences were found to be exceeding the speed limit by 15km/h but less than 30km/h and exceeding the limit by less than 15km/h. High rollers have a higher percentage of the former and low rollers, the latter.

It was found that the percentage of licences that have been cancelled or suspended decreases rapidly with age. Low rollers are more likely to commit less serious offences, of one demerit point than high rollers. This proportion increases with people over the age of 35. High rollers of all ages have a much greater proportion of more serious or 3 demerit point offences.

In terms of the acquisition of demerit points it was found that ?high rollers? had a much higher percentage of 3 demerit point offences as a percentage of their total than ?low rollers?. This indicates that people with more than 7 points are continuously recording offences of a more serious nature.

When examining high rollers average demerit points the trend is not as severe as all demerit point offenders by age. This may be due to the individual nature of the high rollers, rather than an age related trait.