Police are urging motorists to be patient this June long weekend, with an expected increase in the number of people taking to the roads and more people than usual towing caravans.
Double demerits come into force as the clock strikes midnight going into Friday and will continue until 11.59pm on Monday, as part of the usual public holiday crackdown on the state's roads.
Highway Patrol Inspector Mick Buko told ACM that police expected the recent COVID-19 lockdown in Victoria, and ongoing uncertainty from many people about interstate travel would mean more cars were likely to hit the road in NSW this long weekend.
On top of the expected added congestion, he said, police had noticed an increase in the number of caravans on the region's roads recently, which officers anticipated would be another factor this weekend.
Inspector Buko said motorists should be patient with drivers towing caravans because even if they were experienced, it was dangerous for a van to be towed at the 110km/h maximum speed limit on the highway because it would "wobble all over the road".
"I own a caravan myself and it's taken quite a few years to master the art, it's not easy," he said.
"There is going to be a lot of people travelling up and down the Pacific Highway, on the [M1] motorway, towards Tamworth, through Singleton and staying over the whole Hunter Valley, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie area.
"The influx of people is probably going to be greater than we first expected, especially during COVID.
"The big key is not to be fatigued and have patience on our roads."
During the long weekend, double demerit penalties will be in force for speeding, seat belt, motorcycle helmet and mobile phone offences.
"Drink-driving and drug driving are our biggest problems," Inspector Buko said.
"Speeding is a problem, touching a mobile phone whilst driving is a problem.
"The highway patrol are going out every day, driving around and just catching far too many people doing the wrong thing."
According to the NRMA, drivers caught by one of the state's mobile phone detection cameras this long-weekend will be fined $349 - or $464 in a school zone - and be issued 10 demerit points.
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