Take care on country roads, police warn

Drivers are being cautioned about the dangers of trying to overtake on unfamiliar rural and regional roads.

Operation Tortoise, the state's Easter long-weekend road safety operation, will start at 12.01am on Thursday, April 18 and will run until 11.59am on Monday, April 22.

All speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences will attract double demerit points during operation.

Southern Region Traffic Tactician, Chief Inspector Greg Lynch, said police in southern NSW will continue to maintain a strong presence on rural feeder roads that lead to main arterial routes such as the Hume, Princes, Federal, Sturt and Olympic highways.

"We know driving long distances on single-lane roads can be frustrating and tiresome, especially behind slower vehicles, but motorists are reminded not to make dangerous overtaking decisions which could have tragic consequences.

"Drivers travelling on regional and rural roads should also be prepared for the unexpected - such as wildlife that moves at dawn and dusk," Chief Inspector Lynch said.

"Motorists are also reminded to never risk getting behind the wheel if you have had alcohol so ensure you have a Plan B.

"The Easter weekend and Anzac Day public holidays combined with school holidays mean there will be higher volumes of traffic on the roads, so make sure you allow plenty of travel time to get to your destination," he said.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, said police will be out in force ensuring motorists obey speed limits.

"This is an exciting time of year when families get together and enjoy themselves. We want everyone to have a great time during the break.

"Often families hit the road for a holiday with the kids, so we want every motorist to take great care behind the wheel this Easter and Anzac Day and ensure they arrive safely at their destination."

Minister for Regional Transport and Roads, Paul Toole, said it was important everyone took responsibility on the road.

"We want everyone to make it to their destination safely over the break and help us drive the road toll Toward Zero," Mr Toole said.

"If you're travelling over the next week make sure you plan ahead, get a good night's sleep, drive to the conditions, stick to the speed limit and never ever risk driving if there's a chance you could be affected by drugs or alcohol."

Double demerits will return on April 24 until 11.59pm April 28 as part of Operation Go Slow during Anzac Day.

This story Take care on country roads, police warn first appeared on Merimbula News Weekly.