Be careful on the roads as holidays come to an end

NSW POLICE is urging motorists to be accountable for their actions and avoid risk-taking behaviour as they start their journey home at the end of the school holidays.

Drivers should monitor their speed and fatigue when behind the wheel, ensure they are wearing seatbelts and that they are not distracted by mobile phones.

There have been 23 fewer deaths on NSW roads (176 in 2013) and 11 fewer fatal crashes (170 in 2013) compared to this time last year.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith, said the impact of fatal crashes on those involved is immense and drivers can expect to see police if they take unnecessary risks.

"The decrease in fatal crashes compared to this time last year is encouraging, however, police will continue to identify drivers putting their lives at risk," Acting Assistant Commissioner Smith said.

"The number of fatalities may be just a number to some, but we see that change when they are personally affected by the death of a loved one on the road. These effects are far-reaching and can impact family and friends, as well as emergency services that attend.

"Motorists are asked to think about their trip before heading out and realise what could happen if they take unnecessary risks on the road.

"They can expect to see police if they are speeding, drink driving, using a mobile phone or are fatigued on their return journey.

"We are also appealing to ordinary drivers who may not be on holidays but can expect to see more cars on the road this weekend."

Drivers are reminded to ensure they wear seatbelts and children are in proper restraints, while they are also accountable for passengers under 16 years old.

The use of mobile phones while driving, if not in an approved hand-held device, carries a $304 fine and three demerit points, while drivers can expect to face fines and licence suspensions if exceeding the speed limit.

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