The long weekend, like Easter, is so often a time when families and friends organise a few days enjoying the great outdoors and generally lapping up the recreational facilities around them.
For thousands it also involves packing up and travelling some distance to a place they see as paradise, or going home, or adventuring out into the wild.
Across the north, big crowds enjoyed a good spring weekend, albeit with a bit of a stormy beginning with Friday’s late- night rain.
On the roads, we saw a fatality-free weekend in the northern police districts.
Most police say they’ve seen an improved behaviour from the majority of motorists with fewer tickets written for major offences than for the same time last year, although in the Oxley command, it appears speedsters were out in force, doubling the number of offences from 2011.
There are isolated, if interesting, divergent incidents to serve as a cautionary tale, that show moments of idiocy, idiosyncracy or unexplained lapses in interest, attention or caution, can turn a safe trip into a horror stretch.
In the western region, which takes in our readership area, police breath- tested a total of 3108 drivers.
Operation Slowdown, the long weekend campaign on the roads which involved double-demerits penalties, saw 325 drivers booked for various offences.
A 24-year-old Narrabri man faces court charged with returning a blood alcohol reading of 01.69, three times the legal limit.
Two drivers were each booked in the New England LAC and Oxley LAC for drink driving – against a total of 1224 drivers breath-tested in Oxley and 1206 subjected to roadside random tests in New England.
While some other offences don’t please them, police say the statistics showed that the safe driving message might be starting to get through.
Some don’t get it, obviously.
Two P-platers caught at speeds up to 65 km/h over the limit in Tamworth were among 145 drivers booked for exceeding the speed limit.
An 18-year-old Narrabri man was pulled over after he was caught driving at 111km/h in a 60km/h zone along Nundle Rd, and minutes later, an 18-year-old Bowling Alley Point man was copped at 125km/h in the same speed zone.
The two joined 44 other speeding drivers to double the speeding offences in the Oxley LAC during the same period in 2011.
Improving, yes; good enough, no: we’ve still got a long way to go.