EVERY year motorists are warned by police of the need to drive responsibly over the Christmas holidays, but sadly it's a warning that for too many goes unheeded.
Police say with Christmas on its way and school holidays now started, traffic is beginning to build as people make their way to holiday destinations on the Coffs Coast.
Northern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Carlene York, said police have a strong message for motorists - don't flaunt the road rules or you could be putting yourself and other road-users at risk.
"Speed and alcohol are two of the biggest killers on regional roads," Ms York said.
"Highway Patrol officers will be out in force this Christmas and holiday season targeting speeding and alcohol.
"Every police vehicle is a RBT unit and motorists are warned that if you drink and drive you will be caught."
So far this year more than 100 people have died in fatal collisions in the Northern Region.
Once again many lives have been lost on Coffs Coast roads.
"The ripple effect from fatal crashes is enormous and particularly over the Christmas period, which is meant to be a joyous time spent with family and friends.
Drivers also need to take extra care on our roads to factor in changing weather conditions, and also plan their journey in advance to prevent fatigue.
"Heavy traffic and adverse weather conditions can often cause frustration to drivers.
"Don't make poor decisions or take unnecessary risks on our roads.
"Factor in changing conditions and ensure you stick to the speed limit.
"Police will be patrolling all roads in the Northern Region and with Highway Patrol vehicles now more sophisticated than ever, your chance of getting caught is high so don't risk it," she said.
Tips for safe driving:
- Plan your trip in advance
- Be patient and factor in possible delays
- Drive to the conditions
- Don't drink-and-drive, where possible organise public transport or a designated driver
- Be aware of speed limits and don't speed
- Take regular rest breaks to avoid fatigue
A total of ten people died on NSW roads during last year's 16-day Operation Safe Arrival.
Police conducted 463,801 breath tests, resulting in 1001 motorists being charged with drink-driving.
They also issued 13,117 speeding tickets and 19,437 infringement notices for other traffic offences.