In Australia, drivers earn "demerit points" for committing driving offenses. Being awarded more than a certain number of demerit points in a given period (typically 12 in any 3 year period) results in license suspension.
New South Wales, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have "Double Demerit" periods - during long weekends and holiday periods when the death toll traditionally climbs, the point penalties for some driving offenses are doubled - e.g. speeding, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences.
The Australian Police Blog [a private blog] claims:
Records show that when double demerit points are in force, road fatalities are reduced. Since double demerit points were introduced in 1997, there has been a 20% reduction in fatal crashes over the relevant holiday periods.
ABC News claims:
Police say two decades of enforcing double demerits has resulted in at least 433 fewer deaths on New South Wales roads during holiday periods.
Does doubling the demerit point penalties cause drivers to be more safe on the roads?