Double demerit points will be in force for 11 days over the Christmas and New Year period to improve road safety during the holiday season.

Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils' Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, said that double demerit points would run from Friday 24 December 2021 to Monday 3 January 2022 inclusive for all speeding, seatbelt, motorcycle helmet and mobile phone offences.

Ms Suitor said double demerit points have proven to be an effective road safety initiative to make holiday travel safer for everyone on New South Wales' roads.

“Since double demerit points were introduced in 1997 there have been significant reductions in fatal crashes over the holiday periods; including Christmas/New Year, Easter and long weekends.

"The scheme is designed to encourage safe and responsible driving. Working in conjunction with financial penalties, double demerit points provide a strong incentive to drive within the law.

“Traffic on roads to popular holiday destinations, increases by up to 50% during the Christmas and New Year holiday period, so it is important to obey all the road rules and drive safely.

“I urge all drivers to be patient on the roads and take care.  Be aware of the early warning signs of driver fatigue, stick to the speed limit and drive to the conditions, wear your seatbelt and ensure your passengers are all restrained, reduce distractions in the car and avoid mixing alcohol with driving.

"We want everyone to have a happy and safe Christmas with their families - please obey the road rules and drive safely," Ms Suitor said.

Parkes Highway Patrol Sergeant Martin Ling is also warning motorists to obey the road rules as there is a greater chance of losing your licence.

"The Christmas/New Year Traffic Operation will be running from Friday 24 December 2021 to Monday 3 January 2022 and all available Highway Patrol Officers will be working.  All Police cars are mobile RBT units – it is not just rhetoric it is true.  In Central West Police District we will be concentrating our efforts on back roads and regional roads.

“All it takes for people to be hurt or killed this holiday period is for a road user to make one bad choice.

“Nearly every one of us knows of someone who has been involved in a crash on our roads.

“Distractions such as looking at your phone means you’re not fully focused on the task at hand.  We all know that seat belts save lives and that drink-driving and speeding creates a real risk to yourself and everyone else around you.

“So this holiday period, if you choose to speed, to look at your phone, to drink and drive, it’s not just yourself you’re putting at risk, it could be someone you know and love that you’re putting at risk.

"The road toll usually makes the headlines for all the wrong reasons at this time of year.  Let's get it in print for the right reason this year by recording a fatality free holiday period," Sergeant Ling said.