Don’t become a statistic this Xmas
There is one thing police officers don't want to do this festive season - knock on the door of a home late at night to tell a family one of their loved ones is dead.
With 19 people killed over the Christmas/New Year period on the states roads last year police will be out in force during the annual 15 day road blitz Operation Safe Arrival.
The operation will commence at 12.01am on Friday and conclude 15 days later at 11.59pm on Friday January 4, 2013.
Commander of the NSW Police Force's Traffic and Highway Patrol, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley said motorists can expect to see a highly visible police presence on freeways, motorways, highways and suburban roads throughout the festive period.
"Day in, day out, we will stop and book drivers for speeding, drink driving, using their mobile phone or not wearing a seatbelt," he said.
"Every day, we will be forced to suspend licences, seize vehicles and hand out fines to those who seem happy to put road-users' lives' at risk.
"We much prefer taking these actions than knocking on the door of a family home late at night to tell a poor mother her son is dead.
"There is nothing worse than having to break heartbreaking news at this time of year."
"The horrible experience stays with the family, and the police officer, forever."
Assistant Commissioner Hartley added that the increased number of police on the roads would lead to more rogue motorists being caught.
"You are twice as likely to be breath-tested, have your speed checked or be spoken to by police during Operation Safe Arrival."
"That means if you are foolish enough to break the law, you are twice as likely to be caught."
Assistant Commissioner Hartley said that despite it being the festive season, the Christmas / New Year period can be a horrific time on the roads and motorists need to be responsible for their own safety and that of their passengers.
"Nineteen people died on NSW roads during the two weeks of Operation Safe Arrival in 2011/12."
"The festive period is a time to be spent with friends and family, not in the back of an ambulance, an intensive care ward or police cell."
"Do the right thing by yourself, your family, your friends and other road users -stick to the road rules, drive to the conditions and arrive at your destination safe and sound."
Double demerit points will be in place during the blitz for speeding, seatbelt and helmet offences.
In 2011/12, Operation Safe Arrival resulted in:
- Police conducting 510,783 breath tests and charging 812 motorists with drink-driving;
- Police booking 12,612 motorists for speeding;
- Police catching over 1,100 people not wearing seat belts;
- Police issuing 18,950 infringements for other traffic offences.