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Police issue warning to Hunter motorists

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Hunter motorists will need to be on their best behaviour with NSW Police cracking down on the fours Ds this Christmas/New Year period.

Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Minister for Police Paul Toole joined the NSW Police Force on Thursday to launch an operation to target drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving to prevent road trauma over the holiday period.

Operation Christmas/New Year 2021 will start at 12.01am on Christmas Eve (Friday 24 December) and conclude at 11.59pm on Monday 3 January.

Double demerit points will also apply for the duration of the operation for speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt, and motorcycle helmet offences.

Mr Toole said police would have a strong presence in the regions, with more people than usual leaving Sydney to reunite with family and friends.

“For many, it will be the first time they’ve hit the road since COVID restrictions eased, so please plan ahead, take your time and be patient,” he stated.

“No one wants to get a fine or worse still, lose their licence at Christmas, but we make no apologies for taking a tough stance so everyone can be reunited with their loved ones safely.”

Metropolitan Field Operations Deputy Commissioner Malcolm Lanyon said road safety-enforcement operations were about ensuring everyone made it to their destination safely and home again.

“This is the time of year for celebrating and being with those we care about,” he explained.

“Anyone who travels to visit their friends and family needs to take special care to reduce the risk of not arriving safely.

“With rain predicted across the state in coming days, we also urge motorists to drive to the conditions and implore every road user to be aware of their surroundings and be courteous to others.

“So far this year, 262 people have lost their lives on NSW roads and we do not want any more families to be without someone these holidays, especially due to recklessness or carelessness.”

NSW Crime Stoppers has also relaunched the Four Ds campaign, which was first unveiled last December to reduce injuries and fatalities on NSW roads by enlisting the community to report drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving.

The initiative saw traffic-related details surge by 150% in 2021, compared to the previous year.

Following the success of the campaign and ahead of this busy Christmas/New Year period, police and Crime Stoppers are encouraging road users to report incidences of the Fours Ds.

“Keeping the public safe is our top priority – and we’re asking for you to help us protect yourselves, loved ones and the community on NSW roads,” Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander Acting Assistant Commissioner Paul Glinn said.

“If you see or know anyone who is drink, drug, dangerous or distracted driving, please report it to Crime Stoppers and we will investigate.

“Our message to motorists breaking the law is clear: someone is watching you now and you will get caught.”

Road users are urged to report the Four Ds without jeopardising their safety or breaking the law through the following ways:

  • Use a passenger to record the time of the incident and the registration of the driver’s vehicle;
  • If possible, keep dashcam vision of the incident and provide it to Crime Stoppers or police;
  • If it’s an emergency – where there is a threat to life or someone’s safety – call Triple Zero (000) through a passenger, hands-free, or pull over somewhere safe; and
  • If it’s not an emergency, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

“Our contact centre operates 24/7, 365 days a year, or people can report online,” NSW Crime Stoppers CEO Peter Price said.

“Your report could help save a life.

“This is one of the most important campaigns we have ever embarked upon.

“These traffic issues are actually an offence, and these offences often lead to innocent people being injured or killed, which is absolutely devastating for their families.”

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