Police urge drivers to stay ‘snow safe’

ACT Policing in co-operation with NSW Police will continue to conduct high-visibility patrols on major arterial roads in and out of Canberra as part of Operation Snow Safe during the snow season (6 June to 5 October).

Officer in Charge, Traffic Operations, Station Sergeant Susan Ball said the joint operation would include high-visibility patrols targeting speeding, impaired driving, seatbelt offences and driver fatigue.

“We’ll be targeting all Canberra roads that lead to the snow, day and night. We know people travel through Canberra to get to the snow fields. We know Canberrans make day trips and after a day of skiing, they are often tired on their way home.”

“Don’t let your holiday end in tragedy on our roads. Obey speed limits, take regular breaks, stay focused and be patient during heavy traffic,” Station Sergeant Ball said. 

“It’s also important to drive to the winter weather conditions, such as fog, high winds and snow or ice on the road or on your windscreen. When visibility is poor turn your lights on, reduce your speed and increase your braking distance. Make sure that all your windows are clear of fog or frost.”

NSW Police kicked-off the snow season with a social media campaign urging drivers to #StayAlert over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

NSW Police’s Southern Region Traffic Tactician, Inspector Greg Lynch, said police were expecting an influx of visitors heading south to celebrate the start of the ski season this long weekend.

“The Queen’s Birthday long weekend is the first opportunity for people to head down to the snowfields and our number one priority is making sure they arrive safely,” Inspector Lynch said.

“The Stay Alert hashtag sums up our message for the entire ski season – if you try to drive to the snow, hit the slopes and then drive home in one go, make sure you are not taking unnecessary risks.

“Start by making travel plans before you leave, including being well-rested, focused and prepared for travel in variable road and weather conditions.

“Get some rest – stay the night if possible or take a nap before you leave. Take regular breaks during the journey, get out of the car and stretch for a minute – there are Driver Reviver stops all throughout the region. If possible, share the driving with your passengers.

“Look out for your mates; if they’re going to be driving long distances this weekend, remind them to #StayAlert,” Inspector Lynch said.

Driver Reviver’s Sandra Lauer said motorists could take advantage of rest areas to avoid fatigue.

“Motorists can take advantage of a free cup of tea and biscuit at Driver Reviver stops all across the region. If you’re yawning, rubbing your eyes or restless then you need to take a break. Plan your trip and find the Driver Reviver rest stops online at driverreviver.com.”

Motorists are reminded that double demerit penalties will be in place for speeding and seatbelt offences, with an additional demerit point for all other offences, from Friday 5 June to Monday 8 June inclusive.