Double demerits come into force early tomorrow morning and will remain in place until Monday night.
Double demerits come into force early tomorrow morning and will remain in place until Monday night.

Drivers urged to slow ahead of a wet long weekend

WITH heavy rain forecast there's been a call to motorists to slow down as police plead for no repeat of last year's horror Queen's Birthday long weekend.

In 2013, six people died in horror crashes over the same holiday period.

Police said this was in contrast to two deaths in 2012 - the lowest road toll for the Queen's Birthday weekend in the past decade, and four deaths in 2011.

Operation Stay Alert, the police traffic operation, starts at 12.01am tomorrow and runs until 11.59pm on Monday night.

Officers will be targeting motorists who exhibit the five factors that commonly contribute to fatalities: speeding, impairment by alcohol or drugs, distracted by electronic devices, fatigued drivers and those not wearing seatbelts.

"Last year's long weekend was a tragic time that saw not only fatal car crashes, but a pedestrian, cyclist and motorcyclist tragically killed, making it quite clear that road trauma does not discriminate," Deputy Commissioner, Catherine Burn said.

"Our message is to all motorists this long weekend: Speeding to get to a destination faster, inattention, fatigue, lack of seatbelts and drink or drug driving can have dangerous and tragic consequences."

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

Each year there are an estimated 1,300 deaths on Australian roads each year and speeding is said to be a factor in more than one third of these incidents.

According to the Office of Road Safety 40 to 45% of drivers regularly drive or ride above the posted speed limit.

Drivers who are most likely to commit speeding offences are males aged 17 to 25 years and this age bracket accounts for one third of all speeding drivers, who are involved in fatal crashes.

On the Coffs Coast up to 50mm of rain is forecast to fall between Friday and Monday afternoons.



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