ON WATCH: Coffs Clarence Highway Patrol’s Sergeant Craig Enchelmaier flags traffic during a road safety operation in Coffs Harbour.
ON WATCH: Coffs Clarence Highway Patrol’s Sergeant Craig Enchelmaier flags traffic during a road safety operation in Coffs Harbour. David Barwell

Double demerits in force for holiday season

THE police presence on our roads is about to get a lot more intense as local officers do everything they can to stop the road carnage.

A large-scale 40-day traffic operation was kicked off yesterday by the Traffic and Highway Patrol, aimed at reducing road trauma.

Deputy Commissioner Specialist Operations Catherine Burn said the one wish the police service had this Christmas was for everyone to arrive at their destination alive.

"So far this year, 35 more people have died compared to the same time last year - this should stir strong emotions in all of us," Ms   Burn said.

"Our officers and other emergency services personnel deal with these tragedies every day and feel very strongly about this, and so should everyone else.

"This is every road user's responsibility - that means drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists and riders.

"We can all contribute and help stem this tragic and often avoidable loss of life."

As part of the operation, double demerit points will apply for speeding, mobile phone use, and seatbelt and helmet use offences.

Double demerits will be in place for drivers from December 24 to January 3, and from January 22 to 26.

"I am urging all road users to avoid taking risks and display responsible driving," Ms Burn said.

"It is your responsibility not to speed, to manage fatigue, not to drink or drug drive, avoid distractions and wear a seatbelt or a helmet.

"Your decision might be the difference between dying, killing someone, or arriving alive and sparing another family unbearable heartache."

In last year's holiday period, nine people died in eight fatal crashes in NSW.



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