Double demerits will be dished out to those misbehaving on the roads this Christmas

Double demerits will be dished out to those caught misbehaving on the roads this Christmas.

NSW Police’s Operation Christmas/New Year 2021 will started overnight and will conclude at 11.59pm on Monday 3 January 2022.

Double demerit points will apply for the duration of the operation for speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt, and motorcycle helmet offences.

Commander of the Hunter Valley Police District Superintendent Tracy Chapman said they’ll be boosted with support from Traffic and Highway Patrol to make sure everyone gets from a to b this holiday period safely.

“We will have lots of police out and about not only assisted not only by our local police but extra resources from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command and they’ll look at the major highways, but we’ll be on those backroads as well and really targeting excessive or inappropriate speed, alcohol and drug driving, fatigue, not wearing appropriate restraints or helmets and those distraction offences such as mobile phones,” she said.

According to Transport for NSW data, in 2020 there were 21 fatal crashes in Newcastle and the Hunter and 4 in the Upper Hunter.

“We definitely don’t want to see any fatalities at any time but particularly over the Christmas period when there are so many people on the roads, I really urge people to drive to the conditions, be courteous to other road users and have that patience,” said Superintendent Chapman.

“It’s really a focus for us on road trauma, we’ve had a couple of fatalities in the Valley the last few weeks so we’re getting out doing as much random breath testing and really just a high visibility to make sure people are doing the right thing.”

Police will also be continuing to check in on people who are supposed to be isolating if they have COVID-19 or are a close contact.

“It is the Christmas break but police throughout the pandemic have obviously had a lot to do in terms of that enforcement kind of aspect of compliance and making sure people are doing the right thing and whilst some of that faded away a little bit and now we’ve had this increase again we will certainly be checking on those people who we think are required to have some check ins to make sure they’re complying with public health orders,” said Superintendent Chapman.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Paul Glinn, said police are expecting the roads to be busy with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and more people travelling to see loved ones.

“Keeping the public safe is our top priority – and we’re asking for you to help us protect yourselves, loved ones and the community on NSW roads,” Assistant Commissioner Glinn said.

“If you see or know anyone who is drink, drug, dangerous or distracted driving, please report it to Crime Stoppers and we will investigate.

“Our message to motorists breaking the law is clear: someone is watching you now and you will get caught,” Assistant Commissioner Glinn said.

Road users are urged to report the Four Ds without jeopardising their safety or breaking the law through the following ways:

  • Use a passenger to record the time of the incident and the registration of the driver’s vehicle.
  • If possible, keep dashcam vision of the incident and provide it to Crime Stoppers or police.
  • If it’s an emergency – where there is a threat to life or someone’s safety – call Triple Zero (000) through a passenger, hands-free, or pull over somewhere safe.
  • If it’s not an emergency, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.