24 April 2024

Police launch road safety operation ahead of Anzac Day amid high road toll

| Claire Sams
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Double demerits will come into effect from Wednesday (24 April).

Double demerits will come into effect from Wednesday (24 April). Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

Motorists and other road users are being urged to slow down as they travel for commemorations and school holiday fun.

Transport for NSW Director of Road Safety Policy, Louise Higgins-Whitton said double demerits would apply for several offences over the Anzac Day period.

“[Those are] speeding, seatbelt non-use, use of a mobile phone and failure to use a motorcycle helmet,” she said.

“These are all behaviours that contribute to road trauma every day.”

Operation ANZAC Day 2024 will run from 12:01 am on 24 April (Wednesday) and conclude at 11:59 pm on 28 April (Sunday).

The high-visibility policing operation will involve general duties officers, assisted by specialist police such as the Public Order and Riot Squad, Operations Support Group, Mounted Unit, PolAir, Licensing Police, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command and Police Transport Command.

READ ALSO Government to double number of speed cameras on NSW roads in bid to put brakes on spike in death toll

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Brett McFadden, asked motorists and other road users to think of others.

“Anzac Day really commemorates the respect we have for those who went before us to keep our community safe,” he said.

“At this stage, I ask for all drivers on our roads to carry that spirit of respect into our driving behaviours during the course of this weekend.”

The operation comes after 111 fatalities so far this year, compared to 100 in the same period last year.

“That’s a number of families who are coming to terms with this absolute tragedy they’re having to experience,” he said.

Assistant Commissioner McFadden said that thousands of people have been caught breaking road rules across the state so far this year.

“Too often we’re seeing the preventable actions of drivers claiming too many lives,” he said.

“[It is] the distraction, the speed and the inattention to the road that is unacceptable.”

READ ALSO Cluney and Gardner sentenced for offences before fatal car crash in Yanco

Assistant Commissioner McFadden said they were seeing cases of drivers crossing onto the wrong side of the road and colliding with other vehicles, particularly in regional areas.

Additionally, he said 2024 had seen more than sixty thousand people caught speeding, 3700 caught drink driving and 6600 drug driving, while 2000 people were caught not wearing a seatbelt and 5500 people using their mobile phones while driving.

“I would love for everyone to come home safely,” he said.

“We’re at the end of the school holidays and we’re coming together to mark Anzac Day as a community with our friends and family.

“It’s really incumbent on the drivers of NSW to ensure that they move around the community [and] make sure that they’re having a really positive interaction with their friends and family to have a great experience – but to get there and get home safely.”

Original Article published by Claire Sams on About Regional.

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