Police are urging motorists to stay alert in order to avoid their trip from becoming the next tragedy on 2017’s Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
More police will be out on the roads and double demerits will be enforced during the annual Operation Stay Alert road safety campaign, which begins at midnight 12.01am Friday 9 June 2017 and runs until 11.59pm on Monday 12 June 2017.
Since the start of 2017, 161 people have already lost their lives in this State alone.
Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy from the States Traffic & Highway Patrol Command said that a combination of tiredness and drivers using unfamiliar roads is a deadly combination.
“Many people will be embarking on long car trips on roads that are unfamiliar to them. When you drive tired and on a road you don’t know, the combination can be disastrous.
“In 2016 we had four people die during the same operation, all four died on the Friday; the day that most people are beginning their long weekend.
“We have just come off a tragic May 2017 in which 39 people lost their lives in fatal crashes in NSW roads. This was the worst month for almost two years, and the worst May on NSW roads since 2004.
“In the last 12 days of May 2017, people were losing their lives on NSW roads at the rate of two per day. We do not want to see this trend continue.
“Please slow down, take a break when you are tired, avoid distractions and plan your trip. Arriving early to your destination is not worth the risk of not arriving at all,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
NSW Minister for Police and Minister for Emergency Services, Troy Grant urged drivers to consider others when hitting the road this long weekend.
“We know many people across NSW will be making their way to the ski fields for the launch of the 2017 snow season over the coming days.
“Please listen to the advice of police and emergency services when driving in icy conditions, and remember that when you take risks on the road, you’re also endangering the lives of other innocent road users.
“While our first responders are trained to deal with all kinds of emergencies, no trip to the slopes or winter getaway should end in tragedy,” Minister Grant said.
NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, Melinda Pavey said as well as targeting drink driving and speeding this Queen’s Birthday long weekend, we are appealing to drivers to rest up before they get behind the wheel.
“In 2016 over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend four people lost their lives on NSW roads and 131 people were seriously injured.
“Driving tired is our second biggest killer behind speeding and claimed the lives of 83 people in 2016 because someone didn’t get enough sleep before getting behind the wheel.
“With more people using our roads over the Queens’ Birthday long weekend, drivers need to make sure they’re well rested, take their time and drive to the conditions.
“I guarantee you that your friends and family would much rather you arrive late than never arrive at all.
“We want everyone to have an enjoyable break and most importantly get home safely, Minister Pavey said.
Officers will be conducting high-visibility patrols, mobile and stationary random breath tests and random drug tests.
Double demerit points will be in force and apply for all speeding, seat belt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences during this period.
Extra traffic is expected on major routes across NSW as families head to popular holiday destinations.
Source: NSW Police