As people across NSW plan their upcoming Easter holiday weekend, Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke is urging motorists to take extra care on the road.

“Whether you’re heading to the beach, going camping, having a barbecue with mates or catching up with family this Easter, if you’re out on the roads, please make sure safety is your absolute priority,” Ms Cooke said.

“NSW police will be out in full force taking a more proactive approach to road safety this Easter.

“It’s important we remember this is for our benefit. No one wants to get that dreaded phone call at a time of celebration and family.

“During the past five Easter holiday periods in Cootamundra, there have been 19 recorded casualties on our roads. This is 19, too many.”

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said a continuing concern is that most crashes – including during the Easter period – occur on country roads.

“In the past five Easter periods, 69 per cent of fatalities and 52 per cent of serious injuries resulted from crashes on country roads. Last Easter, over two thirds of drivers involved in country crashes were locals, not city folk,” Minister Pavey said.

“Road safety is a shared responsibility so when you’re on the road, think about how your actions can affect the safety of your family, friends and those around you.”

Minister for Police and Emergency Services Troy Grant said that the NSW Police will be cracking down on dangerous road behaviours by issuing fines and double demerit points in a state-wide enforcement operation called Operation Tortoise.

“Operation Tortoise is funded by the NSW Community Road Safety Fund to help save lives and prevent injuries through high police visibility,” Mr Grant said.

Double demerits will apply from Thursday, March 29 to Monday, April 2 inclusive.

“Thursday 29 March is a school day, so extra demerit points will be issued on top of double demerits for some offences committed in school zones,” Minister Grant said.