DOUBLE demerits are set to kick in at midnight on Thursday as officers ramp up their efforts to police the roads at the long weekend.
The end of the school holidays coincides with the three-day Australia Day holiday as well as the last weekend of the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
Double demerits will be in force from midnight Thursday until midnight on Monday for seatbelt, speeding and helmet offences, and for using a phone behind the wheel.
Oxley Acting Superintendent Kylie Endemi said extra highway officers would be on patrol in and around the festival, on top of the country music policing operation.
"Double demerits will be in force as Operation Safe Return commences on Friday, [which] brings a strong traffic focus not just across main arterial roads but all of our roads, including those back roads," she said.
"Our goal is to ensure everyone arrives at their destination safely."