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Double Demerits in Force again this AUSTRALIA DAY Long Weekend

With an increase in traffic on our roads due to school holidays and the Australia Day long weekend, local residents be warned: speed, fail to wear your seatbelt or talk on your mobile phone and you will incur double demerit points. And the same applies for motorcyclists that fail to wear helmets.

Double demerit points will be in force for four days effective from Thursday, 25 January and ending Midnight Sunday 28 January (inclusive).

Moree Plains Shire Council Road Safety Officer, Mrs Renee McMillan said there will be more police on the road which means a greater chance of drivers receiving fines and loosing demerit points.

Police enforcement figures show that double demerit points do deter motorists from speeding and not wearing their seatbelt/helmet when roads are at their busiest.

"Drivers should be warned that they are at greatest risk of losing their license during this period. There will be more Police on the roads and therefore more chance of getting caught and losing points," Mrs McMillan said.

Speeding is the highest contributing factor in fatal and serious injury crashes across the State and approximately one in five occupants killed in road crashes were not wearing the available seatbelt.

When you speed you not only risk the chance of being caught by the Police, you also increase the risk of being involved in a crash. Even small reductions in speed can make a large difference to impact speeds, stopping distance and the time you have to take evasive action to avoid a collision occurring. All these things can mean the difference between life and death.

“And we all know about the life saving potential of seatbelts. Even in a low speed crash if you are not correctly restrained you will become a missile in the vehicle possibly hitting the windscreen, dashboard or other occupants in the car. You could also be ejected from the vehicle. Wearing a seatbelt can be the difference between dying or surviving a crash,” Mrs McMillan added.

Mrs McMillan is encouraging all road users to stay safe this Australia Day long weekend.

People may think that it is never going to happen to them – but the statistics tell a different story. Driving is one of the most dangerous things that we do everyday, but because you don't crash every time you get behind the wheel people do become blasé about the risks.  

With the increase in traffic the risk of crashes occurring increases too but the onus is on all road users to be vigilant. We all have a part to play in reducing the amount of crashes and risks.

"Remember to slow down, schedule plenty of breaks during your trip, don’t drink and drive and ensure all your passengers are wearing their seatbelt,” Mrs McMillan said.