Operation Longridge will target road safety as well as anti-social and criminal behaviour while the Kennards Hire Rally Australia is being held on the Coffs Coast.
Operation Longridge will target road safety as well as anti-social and criminal behaviour while the Kennards Hire Rally Australia is being held on the Coffs Coast. SCOTT POWICK

Major police operation set to begin as Rally draws close

AS the countdown begins to this year's Kennards Hire Rally Australia, police have warned a major operation will be in place on the Coffs Coast from Thursday.

The high-visibility operation, dubbed Operation Longridge, will be targeting road safety as well as anti-social and criminal behaviour.

General duties officers and specialist officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command will all be on site for the operation which takes place from Thursday, November 16 to Sunday, November 19.

Coffs/Clarence Local Area Commander, Superintendent Mark Holahan, urged motorists making their way to the event to plan their trip ahead of time and take regular breaks during their journey.

"There is no excuse for drivers speeding, drink-driving and driving while tired. We will be targeting these motorists who are not only putting themselves, but other road users at risk," Supt Holahan said.

"Both marked and unmarked police will be patrolling all major roads and back streets in the lead up to, during and following the event and we won't tolerate any motorists driving like they're in the race - leave rallying to the professionals.

"Police will target poor driver behaviour and dangerous driving antics, and we will be out in force to make the roads safe.

"With large crowds expected in the area there will be changes to traffic conditions due to road closures. We remind motorists plan their trip and allow extra time to arrive at their destination and to find parking at spectator locations."

For all special event traffic information, including road closures, special event clearways and live traffic reports, visit: www.livetraffic.com.

"Police have been working closely with event organisers, private security, local government and other agencies to ensure Rally Australia 2017 is safe and enjoyable for everyone involved," Supt Holahan said.

"We will be maintaining a high-visibility presence in the local area and surrounding towns throughout the event and anyone caught doing the wrong thing will be dealt with accordingly.

"This annual event has been a great success as the local community has really embraced the spirit of the competition and I look forward to continuing that legacy during Rally Australia 2017," Supt Holahan said.

Further information about the event, including spectator access and special events, can be found on the official website: http://www.rallyaustralia.com.au/



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