Leave 2020 in your rear-view mirror and travel safely this Christmas and New Year

Portrait of a man driving and wearing protection mask (PFF2 or N95 “duckface) against Coronavirus – COVID 19

NSW Police are encouraging motorists to travel through the holiday season with safety at top of mind, towards a better 2021.

The state-wide Christmas and New Year road-safety operation starts at midnight (12.01am on Thursday 24 December 2020) and concludes 11.59pm on Sunday 3 January 2021.

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

NSW Police officers will also be targeting other high-risk driver behaviour, including the Four Ds; drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, reminded the community to enjoy the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations but importantly to arrive at your destination safely.

“Traditionally, we see more people on the roads during the festive season, and COVID-19 restrictions permitting, this year will be no different with people holidaying closer to home. Drivers need to remember to be patient and allow extra travel time,” Mr Elliott said.

“Double demerits will be in place and police will be on the roads making sure that the rules are being adhered to.

“I urge all motorists to obey the road rules and exercise extra caution to ensure that this festive season and the start of 2021 is safe for everyone.”

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb, said community safety is always the main priority for police.

“After the year that we have had, we want the community to arrive at their destinations safely to celebrate the festivities with family and friends. Help us keep you and your loved ones safe, there is no excuse for reckless and selfish behaviour,” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.

“Police will have a presence on all roads across the state, from major motorways to rural backroads, so have a Plan B to get home safely if you’re drinking, keep to the speed limit and always wear seatbelts.

“We continue to encourage the public to report anyone they see or know of breaking the law with the Four Ds – drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving – to Crime Stoppers.”

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said road crashes have claimed the lives of 291 people in NSW so far this year and almost half of those fatalities involved speeding.

“It’s devastating that hundreds of families will celebrate Christmas without a loved one this year, and each one of those deaths was preventable,” Minister Constance said.

“The impact is massive for so many more people, with more than 11,000 injured in road crashes in 2019 alone.

“Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to travel, don’t speed, drive to the conditions, wear your seatbelt, avoid distractions, make sure you’re well rested and if you’ve been drinking or have taken drugs, don’t drive.”

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole, said 179 of those killed on NSW roads so far this year died as a result of crashes on country roads.

“Country people make up only a third of NSW’s population but last year deaths on country roads made up two thirds of our road toll,” Minister Toole said.

“We are doing all we can to make the roads safer, however road safety is everyone’s responsibility.

“We are asking people to plan ahead, put the phone away, buckle up, slow down, take regular breaks and enjoy our roads safely this summer holiday,” he said.