NSW Police is encouraging Hunter motorists to travel through the holiday season with safety at top of mind, towards a better 2021.
The state-wide Christmas and New Year road safety operation starts at 12.01am on Thursday 24 December and concludes 11.59pm on Sunday 3 January.
Double demerit points are in force throughout the period for speeding, seatbelt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences.
NSW Police officers will also be targeting other high-risk driver behaviour, including the Four Ds; drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott reminded the community to enjoy the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations but importantly to arrive at your destination safely.
“Traditionally, we see more people on the roads during the festive season,” he said.
And, COVID-19 restrictions permitting, this year will be no different with people holidaying closer to home.
“Drivers need to remember to be patient and allow extra travel time.
“Double demerits will be in place and police will be on the roads making sure that the rules are being adhered to.
“I urge all motorists to obey the road rules and exercise extra caution to ensure that this festive season and the start of 2021 is safe for everyone.”
Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb said community safety was always the main priority for police.
“After the year that we have had, we want everyone to arrive at their destinations to celebrate the festivities with family and friend,” she added.
“Help us keep you and your loved ones safe, there is no excuse for reckless and selfish behaviour.
“Police will have a presence on all roads across the state, from major motorways to rural backroads.
So, have a Plan B to get home safely if you’re drinking, keep to the speed limit and always wear seatbelts.
“We continue to encourage the public to report anyone they see or know of breaking the law with the Four Ds – drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving – to Crime Stoppers.”
Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said road crashes had claimed the lives of 291 people in NSW so far this year and almost half of those fatalities involved speeding.
“It’s devastating that hundreds of families will celebrate Christmas without a loved one, and each one of those deaths was preventable,” he explained.
“The impact is massive for so many more people, with more than 11,000 injured in road crashes in 2019 alone.
“Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to travel, don’t speed, drive to the conditions, wear your seatbelt, avoid distractions, make sure you’re well rested and if you’ve been drinking or have taken drugs, don’t drive.”