Hunter Highway Patrol police warn ahead of double demerits for Labour Day Long Weekend

Sergeant Tony Grace

Sergeant Tony Grace

While the expected warm weather this Labour Day Long Weekend is good news for some, police are reminding people that double demerit points are in effect until Monday.

Hunter Highway Patrol cluster supervisor Senior Sergeant Tony Grace

Hunter Highway Patrol cluster supervisor Senior Sergeant Tony Grace

Extra penalties for speeding, mobile phone, seat belt and helmet offences kicked in Friday as police launched Operation Slow Down.

Police say speed plays a role in about 40 per cent of all road fatalities.

The NSW-wide blitz has been set up to target dangerous driving and encourage safe road behaviour.

NSW Police Minister Troy Grant encouraged people to enjoy the long weekend with family and friends, but to do so with road safety in mind.

“The weather is getting warmer and kids across the state are enjoying their school holidays,” he said.

“There is no doubt it is a wonderful time of year, but we can never lose sight of our goal of a zero road toll.

“When you behave dangerously behind the wheel, you aren’t just putting your own life at risk, you are endangering the lives of other innocent road users.

“Don’t turn this weekend of fun and festivities into a tragedy.”

Hunter Highway Patrol cluster supervisor Senior Sergeant Tony Grace warned drivers ahead of the perfect storm of conditions that could lead to road fatalities.

School holidays

Many families are expected to hit the roads this long weekend.

The extra traffic is expected to create congestion around the highways at Beresfield and Hexham, so people should plan ahead and remain patient, Sergeant Grace said.

Hot weather and daylight savings

Sergeant Grace said with the increased temperatures and time change, people may fatigue faster, so he urged people to stay alert while driving and take breaks when they can.

“You’re not just losing an hours sleep,” Sergeant Grace said. “Everything in your day changes as well.”

Motorcycle dangers

Sergeant Grace also reminded motorcycle riders who plan to get out and enjoy the long weekend and good weather to take care.

“It’s been a particularly bad year of motorcycle riders,” he said. “We want motorcycle riders to understand there are real limitations of the machine they’re on.”

This story Have fun, but steer away from trouble first appeared on The Maitland Mercury.