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Double demerits for ‘footy weekend’

Wednesday, 26th September, 2018

Sergeant Kristina Janjic conducts a follow-up breath test at the police station where drunk drivers will have their blood alcohol levels recorded. PICTURE: Myles Burt Sergeant Kristina Janjic conducts a follow-up breath test at the police station where drunk drivers will have their blood alcohol levels recorded. PICTURE: Myles Burt

By Myles Burt

Police will be out and about this long weekend for Operation Slow Down. 

Double demerits penalties come into effect at 12am on Friday and finish at 11:59pm Monday. 

With the weekend featuring the AFL and NRL grand finals, Inspector Yvette Smith reminded motorists to remain responsible on the roads.

“Although it’s footy weekend for us it’s still business as usual,” Insp Smith said, “even more so because it’s double demerits.”

Consequences for using mobile phones when driving have been raised to five demerit points, and fines to $674, but this weekend it’s the loss of 10 demerit points.

“If you’re a P plater your license is gone,” Insp. Smith said. “And even for most people normal people who may have already lost two or three points for different things, your license will pretty much be gone.

“They need to understand it’s a distraction. It can have dire consequences if they’re too distracted.

“We want to make sure everyone’s safe on the roads.”

For those planning to hit the open road Insp. Smith said the thing to look out for was fatigue, so slow down, stop every two hours, rest and even get out of the car and walk around. 

Travellers should also let others know where they’re going, which could prove critical in an emergency.

“Because we are so remote, if you are going somewhere off the beaten track, let  others know where you’re going or let someone know where you’re going so that we know where you are if something was to happen and we can send people in the right direction to look for you,” said Insp. Smith.

Highway patrols will about this weekend to ensure people remain safe on the road, she said. 

NSW has had 266 road-related deaths in 267 days this year and some of those had occurred in the Barrier Police District, said Insp Smith.

“We’re out there trying to stop fatalities,” she said. “It’s about us stopping that, not about revenue raising.

“We want to make sure there is no one else dying on our roads out there.”

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