Police: Double demerit points days add up to 10 this month

STAY SAFE: With Easter and Anzac Day fast approaching, police warn there will be 10 days of double demerit points. Photo: PHIL BLATCH
STAY SAFE: With Easter and Anzac Day fast approaching, police warn there will be 10 days of double demerit points. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

LOCAL people are dying on local roads.

That's the message from one of the region's top highway patrol officers following the death of 25 people on Western NSW roads so far this year.

At this point in time last year, 18 people had been killed on the region's roads, Western Region Traffic Tactician Inspector Ben Macfarlane said.

With Easter and Anzac Day fast approaching, 10 days of double demerit points will apply for speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt and motorcycle-helmet offences.

Two separate stints of double demerit points apply for motorists, these run from April 18-22, and then April 24-28. The period applies from midnight on the start date to midnight on the finish date.

Inspector Macfarlane said the number of deaths on Western NSW roads this year had been a tragedy for the community and emergency service personnel who were called to attend.

We're still getting that percentage who weren't wearing their seatbelts when they crashed.

NSW Police Western Region Traffic Tactician Inspector Ben Macfarlane

He said a number of single-vehicle and off-road accidents had featured among the region's fatalities.

"They could be fatigue or driver distraction, it's a concern," he said.

"We're still getting that percentage who weren't wearing their seatbelts when they crashed."

Inspector Macfarlane said fatigue, speeding, restraints and alcohol/drugs were the four biggest factors behind serious road crashes and fatalities.

"You can't fight fatigue, all you can do is manage it," he said.

Inspector Macfarlane encouraged motorists to pull over the moment they were tired and not risk driving further.

STAY SAFE: NSW Police Western Region Traffic Tactician Inspector Ben Macfarlane is urging people to take care the roads during the holiday period. Photo BELINDA SOOLE

STAY SAFE: NSW Police Western Region Traffic Tactician Inspector Ben Macfarlane is urging people to take care the roads during the holiday period. Photo BELINDA SOOLE

"It might not be at the two-hour mark, it might be earlier than that," he said.

During the police operation, officers in the region will focus on arterial roads along with major routes in and out of NSW.

"This includes feeder roads leading to major routes such as the New England, Newell, Barrier and Mitchell highways," he said.

Inspector Macfarlane encouraged all motorists to drive to the conditions, stick to the speed limit and get a good night's sleep before they travel.