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More than one life lost for every day this year, has prompted NSW Police to take an unorthodox approach to road safety in the lead up to the Easter long-weekend this year.
NSW Police have launched the Easter long weekend road safety campaign, along with a proactive campaign aimed at ensuring motorists, passengers and pedestrians consider how their decisions impact other road users.
For more than 20 years, double-demerits and an increased police presence have been an effective deterrent in reducing road trauma during public holiday periods. But with people continuing to die on our roads in avoidable circumstances, police are stepping up their efforts.
The Easter Long-Weekend traffic operation – begins just after midnight on Thursday (March 29) and concludes at 11.59pm on Monday April 2.
NSW Police have already begun Operation Merrett, an unorthodox and proactive approach to road policing, aimed at educating and empowering the public to make the right decisions on our roads. During Operation Merrett and throughout the Easter period, you will see more police on the roads, not only targeting motorists for dangerous behaviours, but educating drivers on safe behaviour and encouraging those who are doing the right thing through positive reinforcement.
NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn said the community needs to work with police to make our roads safer.
“Driving is a privilege not a right and motorists, passengers and pedestrians need to be accountable for the decisions they make that impact other road users.
“Ninety-four people have already lost their lives on NSW roads this year. That is more than one person every day. We don’t want to see another community hurting like the people of the south coast.
Operation Merrett is already underway with a focus on making road safety an every-day topic of conversation.
“Every police officer in the state has been tasked with speaking to drivers, riders, passengers and pedestrians about their responsibilities and safe choices on and around our roads.
“While we will continue to reduce road trauma through enforcement, especially during the double-demerit period, it is important that the community does their part in saving lives on our roads.
“If people think our approach to road safety this year is extreme, I make no apologies. What is extreme is the pain those 94 families who have lost a loved one are going through,” Deputy Commissioner Burn said.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the message this Easter is to slow down and think of the impact you could have on other lives.
“Crashes don’t just impact the drivers or motorcyclists involved – they tear families apart and cause unimaginable grief among our communities.”