Long weekend warning, don't become a statistic

WHETHER it is a long road trip or a quick drive around the corner to pick up some last minute shopping for your Queen's Birthday barbecue, Transport for NSW is calling on motorists to buckle-up, avoid driving tired, not to rush and "get your hand off it" this long weekend. 

“Double demerits will be in force from Friday the 6th to Monday June 9 inclusive and will cover all speeding, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences,” Centre for Road Safety general manager Marg Prendergast said.

“Police will also be conducting Operation Stay Alert across NSW this long weekend to especially target drivers who are speeding, impaired by alcohol or drugs, distracted by electronic devices, fatigued and not wearing seatbelts.”

Ms Prendergast said double demerit periods are proven to reduce death and injury on the road. 

“Comparing the same periods before and after double demerits were enforced, there's more than a 30 per cent drop in fatal crashes,” Ms Prendergast said.

“That's proof double demerits encourage drivers to slow down and be safe on our roads. 

“During Operation Stay Alert, motorists will notice a higher police presence on NSW roads, particularly on major routes and at times when more people are likely to be travelling.” 

Ms Prendergast said too many lives were lost on NSW roads last June long weekend period. 

“Over the 2013 June long weekend period six people were killed on the roads,” Ms Prendergast said. 

“So be careful over the upcoming long weekend – we don't want your loved ones to know the pain of losing you.” 

Ms Prendergast said road safety is everyone's responsibility and needs to be at the forefront of every driver's mind. 

“We need drivers to understand that road safety is in their hands; your actions don't just affect the safety of you and your passengers, but all road users around you – other drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists,” Ms Prendergast said. 

“There is always more traffic over long weekend periods so allow extra travel time, be patient and drive to the road conditions.

“Put your phone down while you're driving and be sure to rest up ahead of your journey. 

“Avoid driving at times when you would usually be asleep, visit testyourtiredself.com.au before you get behind the wheel, stop if you feel like you're getting tired and swap drivers if you can. 

“If you're planning to have a few drinks, remember RBT means you need a Plan B.”

Ms Prendergast said the popular Speed Adviser app is now available from the App Store or Google Play and provides drivers with an audio alert of the speed limit and reminds them when they are about to enter a school zone. 

“If you have trouble remembering when 40kmh school zones start and finish, or want another speed limit reminder, you should join the 43,000 other road users who have downloaded the Speed Adviser app,” Ms Prendergast said. 

More information about road safety is available on the Centre for Road Safety website at roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au.

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