The Northern Star

Police ask for drivers to be safe this Christmas

POLICE are bracing themselves for the traditionally hectic Christmas/New Year period on Coffs Coast roads.

The start of the NSW school holidays next Friday marks the beginning of a major crackdown by Coffs Harbour highway patrol officers.

“Other than Easter, this will be our busiest time on the roads. It is actually the start of six weeks of operations,” acting sergeant Tony Saunders said.

Police will be out in force on major roads in the region and they will target speeding, fatigue, drink-driving and the non-wearing of seatbelts.

Operation Safe Arrival starts next Friday and runs until January 3.

It will be followed by Operation North Roads from January 4 to 22, and Operation Safe Return – coinciding with the Australia Day long weekend - from January 23 to 27.

Sgt Saunders said a commonsense approach to driving would help to keep motorists safe.

“You should plan your trip and check your vehicle before setting off,” he said.

“Be mindful of wet conditions and drive accordingly, and be patient at roadworks.

“You should also take regular breaks if you're going on a long-distance trip.”

Sgt Saunders said motorists should try to avoid travelling at night, when fatigue can be a major factor.

By following a few tips, you can avoid any nasty incidents:

  • Try to spread long driving trips over several days, share the driving and have frequent stops;
  • If you're doing the bulk of the driving get a proper night's sleep before setting off;
  • If you find yourself in a situation that could become heated, take a few deep breaths before you react;
  • If travelling with children and young passengers, pack games and toys to help keep them occupied; and;
  • Try to leave for your destination early.

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