NSW Police Force and the NSW Centre for Road Safety have been joined by the Acting NSW Premier to appeal to all road users to ‘Go Slow’ this Anzac Day long weekend, given the current road toll stands at 26 more than the same time last year.
Acting NSW Premier, Troy Grant, NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn, and Centre for Road Safety’s Bernard Carlon, today (Wednesday 20 April 2016), officially launched the high-visibility road safety strategy for the Anzac Day long weekend, Operation Go Slow.
Operation Go Slow commences at 12.01am on Friday (22 April 2016) and concludes at 11.59pm on Anzac Day (Monday 25 April 2016). Double demerits will be in force during this period for all speeding, seatbelt, helmet, and mobile phone offences.
This busy period will see the return of families and holidaymakers, with school holidays coming to an end. Please remember that 40 km/h school zones will be operational from next Tuesday (26 April 2016).
Acting Premier and Minister for Justice and Police Troy Grant said despite the government delivering the biggest road safety investment in the state’s history of $307 million, motorists need to lead the charge on reducing deaths on our roads.
“Our road toll this year is already too high and what’s frustrating is it’s so easy to fix, just slow down, drive sober and take a break,” Mr Grant said.
“There are going to be thousands of police on the road this weekend so don’t let your dangerous driving cause one of them to knock on someone’s door with the worst news imaginable.”
Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn said the time has come for everyone to take responsibility for road safety.
“This long weekend we are urging road users to ‘Go Slow’, but we’re not just talking in terms of speed, it’s about making all actions and behaviour on the road careful and deliberate,” Deputy Commissioner Burn said.
“So far this year, 120 people have lost their lives on NSW roads and rather than focusing on what not to do, ‘Go Slow’ is about what to do.
“Police will be out in force all weekend but, ultimately, it is up to you behind the wheel, you riding the motorbike or bicycle, or you crossing the road to keep yourself and those around you safe.”
Deputy Commissioner Burn added, Operation Go Slow means:
* DO drive to the speed limit
* DO drive sober
* DO wear a seatbelt or helmet
* DO concentrate on the road and your surroundings
* DO take regular breaks to remain alert.
“As this weekend also marks the end of the school holidays, we are anticipating heavy traffic as people make their way home, and we remind motorists: DO be patient,” Deputy Commissioner Burn said.
Executive Director at the NSW Centre for Road Safety, Bernard Carlon, said drivers need to slow down and stay alert this long weekend as fatigue has become a critical issue this year.
“Drivers need to make sure they are alert every single time they get behind the wheel because we know that deaths from fatigue-related crashes have increased by 100 per cent so far this year,” Mr Carlon said.
“Our roads are safer, our cars are safer, but this won’t protect your life, or the lives of those around you, if you nod off behind the wheel.
“Whether you’re going on a long trip, or visiting friends in the neighbourhood, make sure that you’re well rested, stick to the speed limit and, if you plan to have a few drinks, have a plan B so you get home safely.
“Any death or serious injury that occurs on our roads is a tragedy for our community and we don’t want you, your family or friends to ever be touched by this.”
All across the state, police will be conducting random breath and drug tests, licence and registration checks, checking drivers aren’t fatigued or distracted, checking for seatbelt use and riders are wearing helmets.
Deputy Commissioner Burn said police from all local area commands will join their colleagues from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command to monitor road behaviour during Operation Go Slow.
“Any police officer, in any police vehicle, at any time, at any place, can pull you over,” Deputy Commissioner Burn said.
“Our officers will be careful and deliberate in their actions to keep road users safe this weekend, and I want each of you to do the same.”