NSW Police called for greater awareness and care on the roads as they prepared to launch Operation Australia Day, following a series of fatal crashes across the state this year.
Officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command (THP), Police Area Commands and Police Districts will undertake Operation Australia Day 2021 from 12.01am on Friday, January 22 until 11.59pm on Tuesday the 26th.
During the five-day blitz motorists face double demerits for speeding, mobile phone, motorcyle helmet and seatbelt offences.
If you take risks with other people's lives and your own by doing the wrong thing, you will be caught.Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole
"We've experienced a number of tragic fatalities already this year, this is a concern for police and the community, particularly for those who have lost a loved one" THPC Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hegarty said.
"It's been a tough 12 months for everyone and sometimes drivers can forget that in each and every vehicle is a loved one - a mate, a mother, a father, child or a sibling.
"Australia Day is about mateship, comradery, and looking out for each other. We want to see that on our roads.
"Police will be doing everything in their power to work with the community in ensuring that motorists and their families arrive at their destination safely and enjoy this upcoming Australia Day holiday.
"We're asking all drivers to drive to the conditions, concentrate on the road and be aware of your fatigue levels. Don't be tempted by distractions such as your mobile phone as this can all lead to tragic consequences and endanger lives."
Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole doubled down on that message, particularly in regional areas, where there's expected to be more people on the road due to border closures and with the end of school holidays approaching.
"Tragically, two-thirds of the lives lost on NSW roads occur in the country, so I'm reminding everyone that if you take risks with other people's lives and your own by doing the wrong thing, you will be caught and you will run the risk of losing your licence," Mr Toole said.
"Road safety is everyone's responsibility, so put down the phone, stick to the speed limit and never drive if you're affected by drugs or alcohol."
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