Plan a safe journey in the Hunter these holidays

Thursday 28 March 2013

Plan a safe journey in the Hunter these holidays

Member for Newcastle, Tim Owen, has urged motorists to avoid driving while fatigued and to drive within the speed limit and to the road conditions this Easter long weekend and April school holidays.

In a continued bid to reduce the road toll, double demerits will apply from midnight Wednesday 27 March to midnight Monday 1 April inclusive during the Easter break.

Mr Owen said double demerits will be in force for speeding, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences.

“Motorists are reminded 40km/h school zones operate on all gazetted school days to ensure the safety of children. In NSW, Thursday 28 March is a gazetted school day so double demerit points will apply to school zone offences on this day,” Mr Owen said.

“At this time of year people make longer journeys than usual and traffic numbers increase significantly, especially around tourist destinations like the Hunter.

“When driving on any long journey it is important to take plenty of breaks. Don’t set out if you are already tired and avoid driving when you would normally be sleeping. Look out for the early warning signs of driver fatigue.

“Special care should be taken in the Hunter, particularly on the Pacific Highway, F3 Freeway, New England Highway and around Hunter Expressway work sites.

“Heavy traffic is expected up until the end of the school holidays in late April.

“At the start of the Easter break on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 March, heavy traffic and delays are expected for northbound traffic on the F3 Freeway, John Renshaw Drive and the New England Highway, from Beresfield to Hexham Bridge.

“At the end of the Easter break, on Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 April, heavy traffic and delays for southbound traffic can also be expected on the Pacific Highway on the approach to Hexham Bridge.

“Due to reduced speed limits motorists may also experience minor delays at the following locations:

  • Newcastle Road at Douglas Street, Wallsend
  • Lake Road and Thomas Street, Wallsend
  • Newcastle Link Road around the Cameron Park Drive and Woodford Street intersection
  • The F3 Freeway 500 metres either side of Newcastle Link Road
  • Sandgate Road across the new bridge over the main road
  • John Renshaw Drive either side of George Booth Drive
  • John Renshaw Drive near Buttai.

“To help reduce traffic delays, work on projects throughout the Hunter and Central Coast will close down from Thursday 28 March and Tuesday 2 April with work resuming on Wednesday 3 April.

“Roadwork speed limits are in place around work sites to ensure public safety. These speed limits are enforceable even when there is no work being carried out. Road users should follow the signs and drive carefully through work sites.

“Traffic will also be noticeably heavier on Fridays and weekends during the April school holidays.

“Heavy traffic is expected on the New England Highway around Maitland during Steamfest on 13 and 14 April.

“Motorists are reminded to follow directions on electronic signs which will be installed at a number of locations along the F3 Freeway and throughout Newcastle and the Hunter to provide advance warning of major delays, incidents and changed traffic conditions.
Mr Owen is encouraging motorists to visit the Live Traffic NSW website at www.livetraffic.com before starting their journey.

“The Live Traffic website gives motorists up-to-the minute advice about incidents and conditions which may affect their journey,” Mr Owen said.

“The New England Highway offers an alternative route from the Pacific Highway for motorists travelling between Sydney and Brisbane.”

Tips for planning a safe holiday road journey, including information on rest area locations are available from the Roads and Maritime Services website.

View the original media release:
Plan a safe journey in the Hunter these holidays 

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