ACT Policing: Police urge drivers to stay alert this long weekend (10 June 2010)

Speeding and fatigue are identified by ACT Policing as the two key dangers to drivers travelling to and from the snowfields for the forthcoming Queens Birthday long weekend (June 12-14).

ACT Policing and the NSW Police will combine their efforts in tackling these two major road safety risks this weekend as double demerits begin at midnight tonight (Thursday, June 10) for all speeding and seatbelt-related offences.

Traffic Operations Acting Superintendent Steve Cooke said that ACT Policing would support Operation Stay Alert and the NSW Police effort by patrolling the main arterial roads in and out of the ACT over the long weekend.

“We know from experience that thousands of people will be driving to and from Sydney and the surrounding region for this long weekend’s opening of the ski season – and they invariably all drive through Canberra,” a/Supt Cooke said.

“By the time these drivers have arrived in Canberra, most will already be experiencing significant symptoms of fatigue. When drivers feel their concentration slipping, they need to stop, revive and survive. We would encourage drivers to take a break every few hours. It’s also very important to keep to the speed limits, and for everyone in the car to buckle up.

“The trip from Sydney to the snow can be lengthy and tiring, particularly during the hours of darkness and with heavy traffic. We would encourage people to plan their journey, share the driving if possible and take regular rest breaks.”

During last year’s Queens Birthday long weekend double demerit period, ACT Policing issued 86 Traffic infringement Notices (TINs) and 44 Cautions. There were also 19 apprehensions for drink-driving over the same period.

“Police in NSW and the ACT will be actively patrolling throughout the long weekend to enforce speed limits and seat belt usage. We want everyone to travel to their holiday destination and arrive home safely this long weekend,” a/Supt Cooke added.

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