Drivers are being encouraged to stay safe on the roads this festive season.
Drivers are being encouraged to stay safe on the roads this festive season.

Need for Speed? Think again as double demerits begin

NSW Police are encouraging motorists to travel through the holiday season with safety at top of mind, towards a better 2021.

The statewide Christmas and New Year road-safety operation will start at midnight on Thursday, December 24 and conclude 11.59pm on Sunday, January 3.

Double-demerit points are in force throughout the period for speeding, seatbelt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences.

NSW Police officers will also be targeting other high-risk driver behaviour, including the Four Ds; drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving.

NSW Police and Emergency Services Minister David Elliott reminded the community to enjoy the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations but importantly to arrive at your destination safely.

“Traditionally, we see more people on the roads during the festive season, and COVID-19 restrictions permitting, this year will be no different with people holidaying closer to home,” Mr Elliott said.

“Drivers need to remember to be patient and allow extra travel time

“Double demerits will be in place and police will be on the roads making sure that the rules are being adhered to.

“I urge all motorists to obey the road rules and exercise extra caution to ensure that this festive season and the start of 2021 is safe for everyone.”

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb said community safety is always the main priority for police.

“After the year that we have had, we want the community to arrive at their destinations safely to celebrate the festivities with family and friends,” she said.

“Help us keep you and your loved ones safe, there is no excuse for reckless and selfish behaviour.

“Police will have a presence on all roads across the state, from major motorways to rural backroads, so have a Plan B to get home safely if you’re drinking, keep to the speed limit and always wear seatbelts.

“We continue to encourage the public to report anyone they see or know of breaking the law with the Four Ds – drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving – to Crime Stoppers.”

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said road crashes have claimed the lives of 291 people in NSW so far this year and almost half of those fatalities involved speeding.

“It’s devastating that hundreds of families will celebrate Christmas without a loved one this year, and each one of those deaths was preventable,” Mr Constance said.

“The impact is massive for so many more people, with more than 11,000 injured in road crashes in 2019 alone.

“Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to travel, don’t speed, drive to the conditions, wear your seatbelt, avoid distractions, make sure you’re well rested and if you’ve been drinking or have taken drugs, don’t drive.”

NSW Regional Transport and Roads Minister Paul Toole said 179 of those killed on NSW roads so far this year died as a result of crashes on country roads.

“Country people make up only a third of NSW’s population but last year deaths on country roads made up two thirds of our road toll,” Mr Toole said.

“We are doing all we can to make the roads safer, however road safety is everyone’s responsibility.

“We are asking people to plan ahead, put the phone away, buckle up, slow down, take regular breaks and enjoy our roads safely this summer holiday,” he said.

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