POLICE across the region are part of a statewide clampdown on dangerous driving this Labour Day long weekend as they attempt to tackle a soaring road toll.
Motorists have been warned to keep with the speed limits, take plenty of rests to avoid fatigue, and to be patient, as heavy traffic means trips will take longer.
There have been 296 fatalities on NSW roads in 2012, 38 more than at the same time last year.
Police say there will be an increased number of officers on the state’s major traffic routes for Operation Slowdown, the annual October long weekend traffic enforcement campaign.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith says police will aim to prevent serious crashes by catching motorists who are breaking the law.
“If you choose to break the law by speeding, drink-driving, not wearing a seatbelt or engaging in any other form of reckless behaviour, we will catch you,” Mr Smith said.
Double-demerit points will be in place for the entire long weekend.
Field operations deputy commissioner Nick Kaldas said the safety of all road users was the ultimate police priority.
“We are pleading with motorists to slow down, drive carefully and abide by the road rules,” Mr Kaldas said.
Operation Slowdown begins this morning and concludes at 11.59pm on Monday.
Five people died on NSW roads during last year’s Labour Day long weekend.
A further 4131 were caught speeding and 373 motorists were charged for drink-driving.
Eight people were caught drink-driving on roads in the New England and North West; 19 were caught for speeding, including a P-plater clocked driving at 151km/h.
In addition to the speeding and drink-driving offences, four people were fined for not wearing seatbelts, and 28 people were issued tickets for other driving-related offences. The Transport Management Centre has advised people planning to get away to plan their trip and allow plenty of extra travel time.
A centre spokesman said heavy holiday traffic was expected on the main roads leading out of Sydney and warned that the busiest roads would include the F3 as well as the Pacific, Princes, Great Western and Hume highway.
“Motorists using those roads can expect an increase in the volume of traffic and to experience a rise in traffic volumes as motorists head out of Sydney for their long weekend break,” he said.
Traffic commanders will be in place to help with the flow of traffic, but delays are also expected on the Pacific Highway at Hexham, Bulahdelah, Macksville, Coffs Harbour to Woolgoolga, Ballina and Tweed Heads.
“Anyone heading off on a trip should drive to the conditions and take plenty of breaks,” he said.
Motorists can also check the latest travel conditions before leaving by visiting
www.livetraf fic.com, download Live Traffic NSW for the iPhone, iPad or Android or call 13 27 01.