You might think this is a simple question? Unfortunately in the past I have had to answer this question for my client newsletter for the Australia Day long weekend as the government departments can be a little slow updating their information.
What is a long weekend?
Regulation 71(5) of the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2017 defines what is a long weekend. Basically for a public holiday other than Christmas and New Years, it will be the weekend, the actual declared public holiday, and one other day. If the public holiday falls on a Friday then the Thursday is covered as well. The Regulation doesn't cover what happens if the public holiday falls on a Wednesday.
Over Christmas the long weekend looks more like a week and a half, but this is also spelt out in the legislation and a definition for Wednesday is included.
Why does it matter?
There are separate penalty provisions for long weekends. Schedule 1 of the Regulation has a separate column with different penalties for certain offences on a long weekend.
For instance ordinarily travelling at 70km/h outside of St Dominics College on the Northern Road in Penrith would be a 6 demerit point offence during the designated school times/days/zones, but on a double demerit point school day it is a 12 point offence.
Mobile phone offences for fully licensed drivers are now ten (10) points on a long weekend, Put your mobile phone in the boot or buy a proper mounting device now.
Speeding offences, seatbelt offences, motorbike helmet offences and mobile phone offences are caught by this double demerit point legislation.
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