Police are calling on motorists to look out for each other this Australia Day after a series of fatal crashes.
Traffic and Highway Patrol Command officers with assistance from local NSW Police Area Commands and Police Districts will be conducting Operation Australia Day 2021 between 12.01am tomorrow (Friday, January 22) and 11.59pm on Tuesday, January 26.
NSW drivers will face double demerit points during this time period for speeding, mobile phone, motorcycle helmet and seatbelt offences.
Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hegarty said police were also calling for motorists to take care and look after pedestrians ahead of Australia Day.
"We've experienced a number of tragic fatalities already this year, this is a concern for police and the community, particularly for those who have lost a loved one," he said.
"Australia Day is about mateship, comradery, and looking out for each other. We want to see that on our roads.
"It's been a tough 12 months for everyone and sometimes drivers can forget that in each and every vehicle is a loved one: a mate, a mother, a father, child or a sibling."
Operation Australia Day 2021 will see officers patrolling roads across the state, with police targeting unsafe and dangerous driving.
"Police will be doing everything in their power to work with the community in ensuring that motorists and their families arrive at their destination safely and enjoy this upcoming Australia Day holiday," Assistant Commissioner Hegarty said.
"We're asking all drivers to drive to the conditions, concentrate on the road and be aware of your fatigue levels. Don't be tempted by distractions such as your mobile phone as this can all lead to tragic consequences and endanger lives."
Police and emergency services minister David Elliott said this Australia Day may not be like past celebrations, but as a community we could still come together in the spirit of mateship to look after one another on the roads.
"Over the Australia Day weekend I urge people to celebrate safely - abide by the public health orders and the road rules. If you plan on having a drink - do so responsibly," Mr Elliott said.
"We want people to celebrate safely and most importantly to make it home from their events without incident. We do not want any more fatalities on our roads."
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Roads minister Andrew Constance said it was important for all road users to plan their trips and take care over the double demerit period.
"If you're planning on hitting the road in the coming days, please make sure you take it easy, allow plenty of travel time, are well rested and keep an eye out for all road users including pedestrians," he said.
"We want everyone to arrive at their destination safely."
Regional Transport and Roads minister Paul Toole said it was important to expect more people on regional roads with border closures toward the end of the school holidays.
"Tragically, two-thirds of the lives lost on NSW roads occur in the country, so I'm reminding everyone that if you take risks with other people's lives and your own by doing the wrong thing, you will be caught and you will run the risk of losing your licence," Mr Toole said.
"Road safety is everyone's responsibility, so put down the phone, stick to the speed limit and never drive if you're affected by drugs or alcohol."