Editorial | Stay safe on the roads this long weekend

Police are urging motorists to stay alert in order to avoid their trip from becoming the next tragedy this Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

More police will be out on the roads and double demerits will be enforced during the annual Operation Stay Alert road safety campaign, which begins at midnight tonight and runs until midnight Monday.

Since the start of the year, 161 people have already lost their lives in this state alone.

That is 161 too many.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy from the state’s Traffic & Highway Patrol Command said that a combination of tiredness and drivers using unfamiliar roads is a deadly combination.

“Many people this weekend will be embarking on long car trips on roads that are unfamiliar to them,” he said.

“When you drive tired and on a road you don’t know, the combination can be disastrous.

“Last year we had four people die during the same operation, all four died on the Friday; the day that most people are beginning their long weekend.

“We have just come off a tragic May in which 39 people lost their lives in fatal crashes in NSW roads. This was the worst month for almost two years, and the worst May on NSW roads since 2004.”

NSW Minister for Police and Minister for Emergency Services, Troy Grant urged drivers to consider others when hitting the road this long weekend.

“Please listen to the advice of police and emergency services when driving in icy conditions, and remember that when you take risks on the road, you’re also endangering the lives of other innocent road users,” he said.

“While our first responders are trained to deal with all kinds of emergencies, no trip to the slopes or winter getaway should end in tragedy.”

Emergency services are targeting drink driving and speeding, but also appealing to drivers to rest up before they get behind the wheel.

Officers will be conducting high-visibility patrols, mobile and stationary random breath tests and random drug tests.

Double demerit points will be in force and apply for all speeding, seat belt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences during this period.

Please, take care on our roads this long weekend.

Don’t die for a deadline. 

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