Police call for caution
WITH traffic returning from school holidays already moving through the Coffs Coast senior police are appealing for motorists to take it easy and take care for the sake of the kids.
A large number of families are expected to take to the state's roads and Operations Commander of Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Superintendent Stuart Smith, is pleading with drivers to be sensible.
"We want everyone to get home safe and well and refreshed from their school holiday break," he said.
"But we need everyone - drivers, passengers, and pedestrians - to act sensibly and responsibly.
"Too many lives have been lost on our roadways so far this year, and we want to prevent a tragic ending to what has been someone's happy family holiday.
"It's easy for everyone to make sure they and other road-users remain safe and arrive for school or work on time and in good health this week.
"All you have to do is follow the rules.
"Plan your trip home from the family getaway and make sure you have regular and adequate rest breaks from driving.
"You also need to stay under or within the speed limit as police continue to report on speeding motorists, particularly our younger more inexperienced drivers.
"Everyone in the vehicle should wear a seatbelt as it is an offence if you aren't buckled up.
"Don't drink and drive.
"If the kids are in the car, you have a precious cargo onboard so don't endanger them or yourself by driving while intoxicated.
"If you are the driver, make sure your full attention is directed at the roadway and the traffic conditions.
"Please don't be tempted to text or use a mobile phone in any way whilst behind the wheel as it is an offence which attracts hefty penalties, but it is also stupid and irresponsible behaviour for someone who is supposed to be in full control of a motor vehicle.
"Don't be distracted by your ringing mobile or sms signal.
"Switch your phone off while driving - that is certainly one way to resist the temptation of answering or texting.
Superintendent Smith is also appealing to motorists to remain patient on the roads as there may be traffic delays due to the large number of holidaymakers returning home.
"If you are caught in a traffic jam, remain patient and don't try to make up for lost time," he added.
"Speeding after being stuck in a traffic jam is another example of irresponsible driver behaviour.
"Police will continue to be out in force on the state's roads as families head home and we will take appropriate action against any incidents of irresponsible driving as we continue the battle to prevent deaths and serious injury on our roads."