Police call for vigilance as Schoolies flood our roads
WITH an increased number of P-Plate drivers on NSW roads as Schoolies celebrations kick off, police are urging all drivers to be vigilant.
The NSW Police Force said school leavers were expected to head towards the northern parts of NSW, such as Byron Bay, and southern parts of Queensland.
With less experienced teenage drivers on roads and in unfamiliar surroundings police are urging all drivers to be vigilant.
As P-platers head to Schoolies, some drivers may have extended stints behind the wheel, experience fatigue and have difficulty concentrating on driving tasks, police said.
Police have warned drivers not to use their mobile phones, speed or drink drive, and reminded those travelling in groups to be aware of risky behaviour and peer pressure.
So far in 2016, 67 fatalities have occurred on NSW roads involving drivers aged 17-25.
This has increased from 48 fatalities at the same time last year.
Superintendent Bob Ryan, Commander, Regional Highway Patrol, said drivers should be prepared when driving long distances for the first time, this may include shared driving and frequent stops and understand their choices and actions will have consequences.
"P-plate drivers travelling with passengers can significantly increase the chance of taking risks, with teenager drivers 30 times more likely to crash," Superintendent Ryan said.
"It is important to identify risky behaviours and ensure they are avoided.
"Driving a car is a dangerous activity for anyone.
"Other road users deserve your full attention to driving when you are behind the wheel.
"By simply looking at your mobile phone for two seconds while you are driving at 60km/h is the equivalent of driving 33 metres blind.
"As a driver, be sure to make good decisions about your speed, your level of tiredness and obeying all the road rules. They are there for your safety.
"A poor decision could result in a crash or worse, it could kill someone."
During Schoolies celebrations, which officially runs from Saturday November 26 until Thursday December 8, police are also encouraging pedestrians to take responsibility and be aware of their surroundings, with drivers warned to watch out for an increase in pedestrian traffic.
High visibility policing will be conducted across NSW roads during this period with police targeting speeding, drink driving and mobile phone usage.
Ensure you keep vigilant when travelling and follow the rules of the road.