Byron schoolies warned to drive safely

NSW Police highway patrol vehicle. Photo Police Media

NSW Police highway patrol vehicle. Photo Police Media

Police have issued a warning to all drivers as an increased number of P-plate drivers hit the roads for schoolies celebrations at Byron Bay and southern Queensland.

High visibility policing will be conducted across the region during the schoolies period with police targeting speeding, drink driving and mobile phone usage.

With less experienced teenage drivers on roads and in unfamiliar surroundings, police are urging all drivers to be vigilant.

As P-platers head to schoolies, some drivers may have extended stints behind the wheel, experience fatigue and have difficulty concentrating on driving tasks.

Police are warning drivers not to use their mobile phones, speed or drink drive and reminding those travelling in groups to be aware of risky behaviour and peer pressure.

So far in 2016, 67 fatalities have occurred on NSW roads involving drivers aged 17-25. This has increased from 48 fatalities at the same time last year.

Regional highway patrol commander, superintendent Bob Ryan, said drivers should be prepared when driving long distances for the first time, this may include shared driving and frequent stops and understand their choices and actions will have consequences.

‘P-plate drivers travelling with passengers can significantly increase the chance of taking risks, with teenager drivers 30 times more likely to crash,’ supt Ryan said.

‘It is important to identify risky behaviours and ensure they are avoided.’

‘Driving a car is a dangerous activity for anyone. Other road users deserve your full attention to driving when you are behind the wheel. By simply looking at your mobile phone for two seconds while you are driving at 60km/h is the equivalent of driving 33 metres blind.”

‘As a driver, be sure to make good decisions about your speed, your level of tiredness and obeying all the road rules. They are there for your safety. A poor decision could result in a crash or worse, it could kill someone.”

During Schoolies celebrations, which runs from SaturdayNovember 26 until ThursdayDecember 8, police are also encouraging pedestrians to take responsibility and be aware of their surroundings, with drivers warned to watch out for an increase in pedestrian traffic.

High visibility policing will be conducted across NSW roads during this period with police targeting speeding, drink driving and mobile phone usage.


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