Vehicle-dependent Areas Rewarded For Safe Driving


Motorists in some of the most car-reliant parts of NSW, including western Sydney and the Central Coast, are benefiting most from the first year of the NSW Government’s demerit point return trial that rewards safe driving.

Data broken down by local government area (LGA) shows the Central Coast was the single biggest beneficiary, with 54,971 drivers having a demerit point removed from their licence.

Overall, more than 1.2 million drivers qualified for the demerit point reward for maintaining a spotless record during the initial 12-month period up to 16 January 2024.

Five of the top 10 LGAs were in Sydney’s west where workers and families rely heavily on their cars compared to other parts of the city served by established public transport alternatives.

The LGAs of Blacktown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Liverpool, Parramatta, The Hills, Penrith and Fairfield, have received a total of 290,287 demerit points wiped.

Western Sydney has a disproportionately higher number of people who rely on a driver’s licence for their livelihood, including taxi, rideshare and delivery drivers.

LGANumber of drivers who received a demerit point wiped
Central Coast54971
Northern Beaches46529
Lake Macquarie33815
The Hills31526

Northern Beaches motorists have qualified for 46,529 points back, while Lake Macquarie, Wollongong and Sutherland each have more than 30,000 motorists rewarded.

Outside the larger centres, the demerit trial has been just as enthusiastically embraced, with almost 1400 people getting the reward in Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina and Broken Hill combined.

The demerit return trial has been extended for a second year as the NSW Government continues to sharpen its focus on road safety in 2024 amid a rising road toll across Australia. Other measures include:

  • removing a loophole to force all motorists driving on a foreign licence to convert to a NSW licence within six months
  • the introduction of seatbelt enforcement by existing mobile phone detection cameras from July 1
  • doubling roadside enforcement sites used for mobile speed cameras, with the addition of 2700 new locations where a camera can be deployed. Enforcement hours will remain the same
  • hosting the state’s first Road Safety Forum of international and local experts.

The NSW Government draws on industry innovation to improve road safety, including world-first mobile phone detection cameras that from 1 July will begin enforcing the use of seatbelts.

Minister for Roads John Graham said:

“The reward of a demerit point removed is most valuable in areas where people depend on their car to get to work and to get their families around like in western Sydney, the Central Coast and our regional areas.

“If you drive for a living then the reward for safe driving could be the difference between ongoing employment and losing your livelihood.

“People are used to the stick of enforcement and double demerits but this is the carrot of reward for good behaviour.

“Every demerit point wiped from a licence under this trial is the result of a full 12 months of safe driving by a motorist on NSW roads.

“This is what we need at a time when fatalities on our roads have been rising just as they are in all other states and territories.

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Jenny Aitchison said:

“Many people in regional NSW depend on driving for their livelihood or just to get around and often do not have public transport options at all.

“The reward of a demerit point being removed will be meaningful to those people.

“This trial is unapologetically about encouraging safer driving and that’s exactly what we need in the regions where we have a third of the state’s population but more than two-thirds of all road fatalities.

“It’s good to see thousands of drivers from Albury to the Tweed, to Broken Hill and everywhere in between is being rewarded for their safe driving.”

/Public Release. View in full here.