NEW South Wales Police will tonight launch a high-visibility state-wide traffic operation in an effort to reduce the death toll over the Labour Day weekend.
Major sporting events including the NRL Grand Final, the end of the school holidays, and more people out and about in the warmer weather or heading away for the weekend, will form a ‘perfect storm,’ with large numbers of people on the roads.
Police have called for motorists to be vigilant and will at midnight tonight launch Operation Slow Down which will run over the duration of the long weekend, ending at 11.59pm on Monday.
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Officers will be out in force targeting motorists speeding, not wearing seatbelts, drink and drug driving, as well as those fatigued and distracted.
Double demerits will be in force for all speeding, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences throughout this period.
Last year, seven people died on NSW roads on the Labour Day long weekend, while 4924 drivers were detected speeding and 399 charged with drink-driving.
NSW Police Force, Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn, said the need for vigilance was high this weekend.
“This long weekend marks the start of the busy run up to Christmas and the New Year; families returning from school holidays; as well as major sporting events across Sydney.
“We expect to see a large increase of motorists taking to the roads to enjoy these events and the warmer weather, however, this always brings an element of risk.
“Speed, tiredness, seatbelts, drink-driving and distraction – combined with more motorists on our roads can be deadly.
“Seven people lost their lives on the long weekend last year, the message is clear: Slow down and remain vigilant to ensure we don’t repeat last year’s deadly weekend,” Deputy Commissioner Burn said.
All motorists heading away for the long weekend or returning from school holidays should make sure they:
- Plan their trip in advance;
- Stick to the speed limit;
- Take regular rest breaks;
- Ensure everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seatbelt;
- Drive to the conditions;
- DON’T drink and drive;
- DON’T use handheld electronic devices when behind the wheel.