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Police urge motorists to slow down and stay safe over long weekend

Thursday, 30 September 2021 12:33:47 PM

Police are reminding motorists to slow down and stay safe over the long weekend, particularly in regional areas where travel is now allowed.

Stay-at-home rules apply to everyone living or staying in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains and Wollongong local government areas (LGAs), as well as some regional LGAs.

People who live in regional or rural areas that are not subject to stay-at-home restrictions can travel to other areas not under stay-at-home restrictions.

It is essential that all drivers planning on travelling in NSW this long weekend comply with the existing Public Health Orders. More information can be found at: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19

Operation October Long Weekend 2021 starts at 12.01am tomorrow (Friday 1 October 2021) and concludes at 11.59pm on Monday 4 October 2021.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott announced on Sunday (29 September 2021) that the customary double-demerits process would be suspended for the duration of the October Long Weekend to give people a break.

“It’s been a long, tough COVID-blighted year in NSW and the long weekend marks a point in this journey where we can see the finishing line,” Mr Elliott said.

“Stay-at-home orders continue to apply to much of NSW, so the only people on the roads in lockdown areas should be those with a reasonable excuse.

“This is in no way a green light for drivers to break the rules – and Traffic and Highway Patrol officers will be out in force as usual – but this weekend we won’t be doubling-up the demerits,” Minister Elliott said.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hegarty, said police will be targeting motorists breaking the law across the state, with a focus on regional areas not under stay-at-home orders, where more cars are expected on the road.

"Police still have the power to fine, charge or suspend the licence of any driver breaking the road rules and endangering lives.

“This long weekend, we’ll be targeting drink, drug, distracted and dangerous driving (Four Ds), speeding, and driving while tired, among other offences, across NSW – especially in regional areas where travel is permitted.

“As always, our focus remains the safety of the community across the state. We want all road users to return home to their loved ones,” Assistant Commissioner Hegarty said.

Police will also continue to monitor travel in and out of regional areas, including random checks on people leaving Greater Sydney and other areas under stay-at-home orders to ensure they have a permit to do so.

So far this year, 203 people have died in crashes on NSW roads – 147 of those in regional areas. For the same period last year, 219 people died in crashes in NSW – 143 of those in regional areas.