A large number of police highway patrol vehicles have already been reported on the Pacific Highway, and roads leading up to it, between Ballina and the border.
NSW police have already launched Operation Tortoise, with double demerit points for speeding, seatbelt and helmet offences in force until midnight on Monday.
Commander of Traffic and Highway Patrol, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, said motorists need to do their part in reducing road trauma and aim for a fatality-free Easter.
‘The NSW road toll currently stands at 79; that’s nine down for the same time last year, but this is not something we should be proud of, with every death on our roads a tragedy,’ he said.
‘In the week leading up to Easter eight people have been killed on NSW roads in what have predominantly been single vehicle crashes where speed and fatigue were major factors,’ he added
A police spokesperson said that fatigue represents 20–30 per cent of Australia’s road fatalities.
Driving tired can be as dangerous as driving drunk. They both have the same effect on our ability to react. Driving is a complex task that requires concentration and co-ordination to ensure the safety of the driver and other road users.
‘Police are encouraging motorists to take advantage of a number of initiatives, such as the Driver Reviver sites, to help prevent fatigue. The main aim of Operation Crossroads is to make sure that everybody reaches their destinations safely,’ the spokesperson said.
Police suggest the following road safety tips:
• stop every two hours for a 10 minute break – get out, stretch and having something to eat or drink (but avoid large meals)
• have a good night’s sleep the night before (at the least, 7.5 hours is suggested)
• avoid driving at times you might normally be sleeping
• don’t drive for more than 10 hours a day
• if possible, swap drivers
• avoid medications that make you drowsy
• if you feel tired before you set out then you shouldn’t be driving.