AS families start packing their gear for the annual Easter road trip, the RACQ has released a survival guide of sorts for parents travelling long distance with their kids.

The RACQ's tips are part of the annual blend of tips and threats of financial ruin for anyone caught being naughty on the roads during the double demerit period.

The RACQ says those beeping, bleeping iPods, iPads, and mini-games devices that drive you nuts at home will actually sound pretty good coming from the back seat of the car - as an alternative to the "Are We There Yet" and "He Touched Me" medley you're used to.

Throw in some travel sickness medication, a few bottles of water and a promise to not feeding them lollies, and you've got a happy road trip (until one of the kids empties a water bottle over their absurdly expensive iPad).

At the same time, NSW Police Minister Michael Gallacher has issued a reminder that Operation Tortoise, the Easter double demerit period, starts at midnight tonight, running through until one minute before midnight on April 1.

The double demerits apply to anyone caught speeding, not wearing a helmet when you ought to, and failing to wear a seatbelt.

"The Easter holiday period has been a particularly tragic time of year. Over the past ten years, 53 fatal crashes have occurred on our roads taking the lives of 60 people," Mr Gallacher said in a statement.

"Road trauma leaves nothing but destruction and devastation in its wake and that's not what we want to see this long weekend."

The good news is, if you're headed south, a new piece in the Pacific Highway jigsaw has dropped into place with the opening today of the $618m Kempsey bypass, and with it, Australia's longest bridge, which covers 3.2km, spanning the Macleay River and its surrounding floodplain.



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