Christmas and New Years are right around the corner, and if you’re one of the many people whose family is spread out across the country, you’re probably going to be spending some time on the open road.
Maybe that means listening to the kids play games of road cricket, windmill, and I Spy, or listening to your favourite podcasts and audiobooks, or jamming out to a road trip playlist you’ve curated for just this occasion. For everyone on the road though, there are some important things to be aware of as you set out these holidays.
Firstly, double demerits. For those states with double demerits, it’s important to be aware of when they come into effect. For NSW and the ACT, double demerits will be running from Friday, December 20th to Wednesday, January 1st inclusive. For WA, double demerits run from Friday, December 20th to Sunday, January 5th inclusive.
It’s also useful to note that there is some overlap with school times in these areas, with Friday, December 20th being the final day of school for plenty of kids across the country. Be wary of school zones for double demerits, but far more importantly because of the kids that could be stepping out onto the road unexpectedly.
Even if you live outside one of the aforementioned states, for anyone travelling interstate it’s important to remember that as soon as you cross into another state you’ve got to be aware of the local driving laws, because you won’t be let off simply for not knowing them.
For Sydney caravanners looking to strike out in their home away from home and get on the road with it for the first time all year, there’s also some important information that might save you a few dollars on toll roads on your way out of town.
Coming into effect earlier this year, the M2 and M7 have brought their toll rates into line with the rest of the city’s toll roads (Eastern Distributor, M5 West, WestConnex, etc.) when it comes to Class B vehicles. Class B Vehicles are defined as measuring 12.5m in length or longer—a condition which would often be met by most car/ute and caravan setups.
The M2 connects Chatswood with the Hills district, and the M7 connects the Hills with the southbound highways out of the city, meaning that if you live north of the harbour and are heading either west or south out of the city you’ll likely be up for increased toll charges. That is, unless you go by other routes (pending the amount of time you have available).
One last note for all drivers across all states in the country, please take extra precautions while driving over the next few weeks. The increased amount of people on the roads, particularly people on long journeys, means everyone needs to be as safe as possible throughout the holiday period.
And with that, we wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!