Police remind motorists to take caution this school holidays and October long weekend

SAFETY: The north west traffic highway patrol are reminding motorist to take caution this school holidays and October long weekend. Photo: JAY-ANNA MOBBS
SAFETY: The north west traffic highway patrol are reminding motorist to take caution this school holidays and October long weekend. Photo: JAY-ANNA MOBBS

With school holidays approaching motorists are being reminded that double demerits will be in place over the October long weekend.

Officers attached to the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command have also reminded people they are expecting increased traffic flows to regional areas.

Double demerit points will be in force from Friday, October 2 and ending on Monday October 5 (inclusive).

NSW Police said they would be targeting speed, seatbelts, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, distraction offences such as using mobile phones and being fatigued.

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So far 38 lives have tragically been lost in the western region area, and Superintendent Paul Glynn, from the north west region traffic and highway patrol control command said there would be a heavier police presence on the road to ensure motorists doing the wrong thing would be caught.

"Thankfully most people do the right thing, but if somebody is making poor decisions, speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, using a phone, it's our goal to try and interact with those people and take action," he said.

"The roads are there for everybody to share, people need to be safe and not be complacent.

"Our goal is for you to complete your journey out, enjoy your holiday and recreation time with family and friends, and travel home safely."

Superintendent Glynn said they were expecting increased traffic flows to regional areas, and reminded people to take care on country roads.

"It's anticipated that there will be a significant movement of people from Sydney and coastal areas out to regional NSW in the coming weeks for the holidays and the October long weekend," he said.

"Certainly something to be considered is that for people coming from the city driving on country roads is a little bit different, driving at night clearly be aware of animals on or about the road, also the roads in country areas aren't engineered like metropolitan roads, so if you make a mistake the consequence is likely to be more significant.

The superintendent also reminded local drivers they needed to take responsibility for their own actions.

"Also for local people just to be aware that sadly there's a lot of local people dying in local collisions on local roads in regional areas," Superintendent Glynn said.

"Even if you're a farmer getting in your car driving from one paddock to another, or driving a short distance to town, you need to make sure you put your seatbelt on."

This holiday period Superintendent Glynn encouraged travellers to be mindful of fatigue and advised motorists to take advantage and stop and revive in local communities along the way.

"So plan your trip, if traffic is thick be patient, slow down, don't take risks, and maybe it's an opportunity to stop in a local regional town and have a meal or a a cup of coffee," he said.

"They'll welcome you as long as you comply with the COVID principles, and again you can complete your journey safely and get back home."

WESTERN REGION

Acting Inspector David Thomas and Senior Constable Edwards. Photo:

Acting Inspector David Thomas and Senior Constable Edwards. Photo:

Acting Inspector David Thomas of the western plains sector said while there had been a downturn in traffic on regional roads, those unfamiliar with the road and travelling these school holidays should take caution.

"Early this year we saw a massive downturn in traffic, there were lock-downs with restrictions placed on everyone and with that there came a downturn in our accidents, and that was a great thing," he said.

"But now I'm seeing the flow is back on, there's camper trailers, cars, people who would normally have gone overseas they're now coming out on trips to regional areas."

Acting Inspector Thomas warned that those who are inexperienced with towing or travelling on regional roads should take extra caution.

"It might be people that don't normally tow a caravan, or people that only catch the bus to work, and suddenly they're trying to cover distances of 1000 kilometres," he said.

"We want people to think about that before they do it, think about fatigue."

He advised motorists to watch their speed and know about their vehicle and its towing weight limits, which includes everything including people in the car.

"Know your weight rating, that's going to be vitally important, because if you're going to be towing something that's overweight that could cause you to have an accident in itself," Acting Inspector Thomas said.

"Also watch your speed ... if you're travelling too close to another vehicle, the dynamics of having something that's 3.5 tonne, obviously its going to take longer to pull up, so know what you're doing."

Sergeant Thomas said police officers were trained to look for these things, and would be stopping people not only for breath and drug testing, but looking at loads and what people are carrying and for any signs of fatigue.

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This story Police issue important warning for school holiday travellers first appeared on Daily Liberal.