Operation Safe Arrival will be targetting speeding, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences over the Australia Day long weekend.
Operation Safe Arrival will be targetting speeding, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences over the Australia Day long weekend. Trevor Veale

Long weekend double demerit points start at midnight

NSW Police are asking motorists one question this Australia Day long weekend: Will you make a Safe Return?

Operation Safe Return, the long weekend road safety enforcement campaign, starts at midnight tonight and concludes at 11.59pm on Monday.

Double demerits will be in force throughout the period for speeding, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences.

It is being launched in the shadow of a disastrous week on the state's roads with 12 people killed in fatal crashes since last Wednesday, and 24 people already killed on our roads this year.

"Operation Safe Return is a maximum enforcement period involving Highway Patrol officers assisted by general duties police throughout the state," Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith said.

"We can expect to carry out upwards of 200,000 breath tests over the four days and the campaign is supported by double demerits.

"Police will be doing our part and what we need is the travelling public to work with us and make a safe return this weekend," he said.

Last Australia Day long weekend, three people were killed in separate crashes in rural NSW.

"This operation will target the 'fatal five' of speeding, drink/drug driving, not wearing seat belts, distracted driving, and fatigue," Acting Assistant Commissioner Smith said.

"It's the high-visibility formula that we have used for several years and it has assisted in two years of record low annual road tolls in 2013 and 2014.

"We know there will be heavy traffic on the roads with holiday makers heading home and people attending Australia Day events around Sydney and regional centres.

"Motorists will need to be patient and plan their trips. That means being well rested and taking food and water in case you strike a delay," Acting Assistant Commissioner Smith said.



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