6 June 2024

Police launch King’s Birthday blitz after a horror start to 2024 on NSW roads

| Chris Roe
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NSW Police will be out in force over the long weekend.

NSW Police will be out in force over the long weekend. Photo: Ake Ngiamsanguan.

Highway Patrol will be out in force over the King’s Birthday long weekend after a horror start to the year on NSW roads and an increase in road deaths of more than 30 per cent in the first quarter of 2024.

Operation ‘King’s Birthday 2024’ will begin at 12:01 am on Friday (7 June) and conclude at 11:59 pm on Monday (10 June) with double demerit points in place for the duration of the operation.

Police will target excessive speed, alcohol and drug driving, fatigue, and distracted driving, with the aim of preventing injury and death.

Police Minister Yasmin Catley said they would be taking a zero-tolerance approach to all dangerous driving behaviour.

“Our message to drivers this long weekend is to be safe and drive to the conditions so you can return home to your loved ones,” said Minister Catley.

“We don’t want to see dangerous behaviour on our roads. We all have a responsibility every time we get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Don’t speed, don’t drink, or take drugs and drive, and don’t use your mobile phone while driving.

“And if you’re feeling tired, the only way to fight fatigue is to take a rest.”

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Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander Assistant Commissioner Brett McFadden said police would continue to target behaviour that endangered lives on NSW roads.

“This coming weekend is traditionally one of the busiest on our roads which causes us great concern,” he said.

“Just in the past few weeks alone we have seen multiple fatal crashes on our roads. This should not be acceptable to us as a community.

“But it is not just the responsibility of police to ensure road safety is enforced. I would urge anyone who is a passenger in a vehicle to call out the bad behaviour of drivers.

“You may not only save your own life, but someone else’s too. It’s up to all of us to do better.”

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Transport for NSW’s Centre for Road Safety and Maritime Safety Chief, Bernard Carlon agreed, adding that 13 people lost their lives on the long weekend last year.

“We all need to work together to make sure everyone reaches their destination safely.

“Double demerits will be in place for all speeding, seatbelt, motorcycle helmet and mobile phone offences – I’m reminding everyone to please follow the rules by sticking to the speed limit, wearing their seatbelt or helmet and putting the phone away.

“Additionally, we are expecting rain across some parts of the state over the weekend and roads may be slippery, which means it takes longer to stop in wet weather. Make sure you adjust your speed down, keep a safe gap from the vehicle in front, use your lights in rainy conditions, and never drive through floodwater.”

Members of the public are urged to report motorists engaged in dangerous driving to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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