Police blitz: Ten tips to stay safe on Northern Rivers roads
FRIDAY 11AM: POLICE across the Northern Rivers gearing up for Operation Saturation, a three-week blitz aimed at reducing the road toll.
New South Wales school holidays start this afternoon and the roads are expected to be busy as families head off for a break.
We've put together a list some advice for drivers to keep in mind when hitting the roads.
1. Slow down: Keep an eye on your speed. Most highways have a 100km/h limit, but watch out for lower speed limits in roadwork zones and in urban areas.
2. Take a break: Every two hours get out of the car, stretch your legs, and give your eyes a break.
3. Stay hydrated: This goes for any situation, but when driving, being dehydrated can mean fatigue will set in.
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4. Don't use your phone: Don't even be tempted to touch the thing. Leave it alone until you reach your next break or final destination.
5. Play car games: It helps to pass time to play games such as Spotto and I Spy, but if you're driving, be aware these could distract you.
6. Check the map: Before you set off make sure you know where you're going. Don't be tempted to look at Google Maps on your phone while driving, or put yourself in a dangerous position when becoming frantic when lost. If you find yourself lost, pull over and sort yourself out.
7. Be patient: Don't worry if you get stuck behind a car going a bit slower than you. You'll get there eventually.
8. Overtake safely: Always wait for dedicated overtaking lanes and make sure you give yourself enough room. Use your blinkers so drivers behind you know what you're doing.
9. Put on some music: Songs and talkback radio can help to keep you alert. Make sure you keep the volume at a reasonable level so you can hear emergency vehicles if they're approaching. Don't use headphones!
10. Watch other cars: Not every driver is a considerate road user. Watch the traffic ahead of you and check your rear vision mirror regularly.
THURSDAY 1PM: POLICE will be out in force in the Northern Rivers over the next three weeks as Operation Saturation commences, in an effort to combat the rising road toll.
Operation Saturation will include the entire Traffic and Highway Patrol fleet, assisted by local police, in high-visibility patrols on NSW roads.
The operation starts tomorrow and runs until Thursday April 21.
It will immediately be followed by Operation GO SLOW, from Friday April 22 until Monday April 25.
THWP State Operations Commander, Superintendent Stuart Smith said personal responsibility remains the missing the factor on the roads.
"We have some of the best roads, latest technology and safest vehicles," he said.
"What is missing from the equation is personal responsibility.
"With 100 people losing their lives in NSW this year alone, 18 more than the same time last year, road users need to be alert, wise and careful.
"We will be out in force and if you are drink/drug driving, speeding, not wearing your seat belt or helmet, the chances are you will be having a conversation with an officer during this operation.
"So, slow down for your own sake and that of other road users, let's all get home safely and help combat the increasing road toll."
Superintendent Smith said the high-visibility police operation will include a sustained period of enforcement and involve layers of policing involving general duties officers and leads into Operation GO SLOW.
"There will be 1000 additional THWP shifts during the operation and we will be testing for drug and drink-driving, enforcing speed limits and checking heavy vehicle compliance," he said.
Bernard Carlon, Executive Director, Centre for Road Safety, said school holidays are a wonderful opportunity for families to pile into the car and get away, but urged responsible behaviour on the road.
"NSW Police, in partnership with the Centre for Road Safety, will conduct targeted road safety activities using available shifts and staff, with funding for a further 10,000 enforcement hours from the Centre for Road Safety," Mr Carlon said.
"We don't want to see you and your family become a statistic during a happy time of the year.
"Our message to drivers is: don't drive while you're tired, don't touch your mobile phone and don't rush."