POLICE will be out in force on the roads these school holidays in a bid to reduce the road toll which has seen 21 more deaths in our region this year compared to the same period last year.
"It is disappointing,” Richmond Highway Patrol Northern Borders Cluster Sergeant Dave Carter said.
"We pour our heart and soul into trying to keep it down and reducing the fatalities so it can be disappointing when they go back up again.
"But we're out there and trying our best and hopefully it will be a short-lived trend.”
Sgt Carter said highway patrol cars would be more visible on the roads from today leading into Operation Slow Down over the October long weekend.
He said speed, alcohol and fatigue were the main focuses for the police blitz which would start on Friday, September 30, and continue to Monday, October 3, with double demerit points.
"Over that weekend we try to have all available highway patrol working to provide that coverage,” he said.
"We like to be out and be seen, highly visible, stopping cars and talking to people. There will also be stationary testing and mobile testing.”
Sgt Carter said secondary and back roads were particularly notorious for fatal accidents involving both tourists and locals alike.
"Particularly in Richmond LAC we have a lot of fatalities on our secondary and back rounds,” he said.
Sgt Carter said it would be particularly busy with both Queensland and New South Wales on school holidays this week.
"We want people to enjoy themselves but make sure they make it home safely,” he said.
NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander Acting Assistant Commissioner David Driver re-iterated a similar safety message across the state, urging drivers to be responsible to avoid an increase in major accidents, injuries or deaths.
"The road toll currently stands at 288,” he said. "That means there are 288 families who will not see their loved ones this school holidays.
"I can assure you that it is much more important to arrive safely, than not to arrive at all.
"Our officers will be out in force over the entirety of the school holidays, monitoring the behaviour of motorists, and we will not tolerate behaviour that put you, your family and other road users at risk.”