WHILE the NSW Government has suspended the traditional October long weekend double demerit, don't expect to see less police on the roads.
Operation October Long Weekend 2021 will start at 12.01 am Friday October 1, 2021 and will conclude at 11.59 pm on Monday October 4, 2021.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott announced on Sunday September 29 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.
"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."
Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hegarty, said police would 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," he said.
"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.
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.
Although with most of the state unable to travel it is anticipated traffic volumes, especially in the Southern Highlands and Tablelands will be far less than usual.
But police will be out in force, and not just on highways, they will also be on backroads and local roads.
It is the first time since the road toll operation was introduced in NSW in 1997 that double demerits will not be in place for the October long weekend.
The next double demerit period is scheduled to start during the summer holidays, from December 24, 2021 to January 3, 2022 inclusive.