Police encourage road users to look after each other this Easter long weekend

Police are encouraging road users to look out for each other while travelling on NSW roads this Easter Long Weekend, ahead of a state-wide operation.

NSW Police will today launch Easter Operation 2024 – a highly visible police traffic operation with a focus on reducing road fatalities and road trauma this holiday weekend.

The operation will begin at 12.01am tomorrow (Thursday 28 March 2024) and run until 11:59pm on Monday 1 April 2024.

Double-demerit points are in force throughout the period for speeding, seatbelt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences.

Officers will also be targeting other high-risk driver behaviour, including the Four Ds: drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving.

Seven people lost their lives during the Easter long weekend in 2023 with a total of 14,564 traffic infringement notices issued for speeding, a further 326 people were charged for drink-driving offences, while 311 people were issued infringements for mobile phone usage.

Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism, Yasmin Catley, said the message this Easter it to slow down, pay attention and drive to the conditions.

“Everyone has a role to play to ensure we all return home safely this long weekend.

“Police will be out across all our major roads, highways and local streets targeting bad behaviour.

“We want everyone to enjoy the break, but please drive carefully, and more importantly return home to your loved ones safely.”

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Brett McFadden, said police will be saturating roads across the state for the five-day operation to ensure the safety of all road users.

“We want all of you to arrive safely at your destination and enjoy the Easter long weekend with loved ones, so we are asking every person who gets behind the wheel of a motor vehicle or hops on a motorcycle, to be responsible and do everything they can to keep themselves, their passengers and other road users safe.”

“Those selfish individuals who think they can blatantly disregard the road rules and put the broader community at risk are on notice.

“Make no mistake that our police will be out and about this long weekend – including on major road networks and on local streets – to stop those doing the wrong thing,” Assistant Commissioner McFadden said.

Chief of the Centre for Road Safety and Maritime Safety, Bernard Carlon from Transport for NSW said it’s important not to be complacent about road safety this long weekend.

“There are simple things everyone can do to help make our roads safer over the long weekend,” Mr Carlon said.

“That includes staying under the speed limit, wearing a seatbelt, never driving when tired, not using a mobile phone while driving and never, ever driving if you’re affected by drugs or alcohol.

“Please be vigilant, patient and follow the road rules. Let’s all work together to help keep everyone safe this long weekend,” Mr Carlon said.

Road Trauma Support Group spokesperson, Mrs Roxanne Arnold, whose husband was killed in a crash in 2019, would like everyone to think about the impact one wrong choice can have on the road.

“Easter is a time when people sit down around the table with their family and friends and celebrate being together, sadly my husband isn’t going to be at my family’s table this long weekend,” Mrs Arnold said.

“No one should have to go through what my family and I have, I’m appealing to everyone to think about their behaviour when they get behind the wheel this long weekend, and make responsible choices.

“People think road trauma will never happen to them – but it can – one bad decision can have a lifetime of impacts for victims, their families and their friends. Please think about the choices you make when you get behind the wheel, so that no one has to experience a missing family member or friend at their table this Easter,” Ms Arnold said.

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