Drivers urged to be cautious over the ANZAC Day weekend

Thursday, 20 April 2023 10:42:54 AM

Motorists are being reminded to drive carefully with increased traffic expected over the coming days.

Operation ANZAC Day 2023 will launch at 12.01am on Friday 21 April 2023, with double demerit points in place until 11.59pm on Tuesday 25 April 2022, coinciding with the end of the school holidays and ANZAC Day.

The reminder comes after the recent Easter long weekend traffic operation, where more than 5000 speed infringements were issued, and 326 PCA charges laid across the state.

Tragically, seven people lost their lives during the operation.

Minister for Police and Counter Terrorism, Yasmin Catley, has urged anyone planning to drive to local dawn services and other commemorative events to do so safely.

“ANZAC Day is about honouring our wonderful armed forces and veterans, so we want everyone to arrive safely,” Minister Catley said.

“In the spirit of ANZAC Day, let’s show comradery and look out for each other on our roads by slowing down, driving to the conditions, being patient, and not driving under the influence.”

The high-visibility policing operation will involve general duties officers, assisted by specialist police, including the Public Order and Riot Squad, Operations Support Group, Mounted Unit, PolAir, Licensing Police, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command and Police Transport Command.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Tracy Chapman, said police will be targeting high-risk behaviours such as excessive speed, alcohol and drug driving offences, illegal use of mobile phones and not wearing seatbelts.

“The goal is preventing injury and death. Tragically this year, 109 people have died on NSW roads – a concerning increase of 12 deaths compared to this time last year.

"Fatigue is a major contributor to road crashes, but police cannot take action against fatigue in the same way we would enforce something like speeding, so we have to rely on the public to do the right thing," Assistant Commissioner Chapman said.

"A split-second’s inattention caused by fatigue can be catastrophic, so we urge drivers to plan their trips carefully, take regular breaks, and never get behind the wheel if they feel too tired to drive.

“We remain committed to ensuring public safety over the ANZAC Day weekend, and we’re asking all motorists to do their part as well – especially as we expect more cars on our roads with school holidays coming to an end.”

Deputy Secretary of Safety, Environment and Regulation at Transport for NSW, Sally Webb, said roads are expected to be very busy with people taking the opportunity to travel over the weekend and public holiday, so please plan ahead.

“Please check the Live Traffic NSW App for the latest updates before you head off and give yourself plenty of travel time, even if it’s a short trip,” Ms Webb said.

“And don’t forget school zones will also be back in operation from Monday 24 April 2023.

“With Monday coinciding with the ANZAC Day double-demerit period, we are reminding motorists to be vigilant in obeying school zone speed limits.

“Although Monday is a Student Free Day for some schools, there may still be students attending, which is why school zones are in place across the state.

“School zones are clearly marked with flashing lights and school zone signs so please slow down,” Ms Webb said.