Holiday road safety: Operation Safe Arrival goes high visibility

18 December 2014

Minister for Roads Duncan Gay, Minister for Police and Emergency Services Stuart Ayres and NSW Police Force Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander Assistant Commissioner John Hartley today launched the new high visibility Operation Safe Arrival to help save lives on our roads this holiday period.

“Our approach to road safety is not about catching people out and this year we’ve taken it to another level with a full fleet of highway patrol command cars featuring new high visibility markings,” Mr Gay said.

“Nothing is more important to me than the safety of people on our roads and my message is clear – I want you and your family to make it home.

“On top of our high visibility approach, since last Christmas the NSW Government has delivered major pinch point upgrades along notorious stretches of road to slash travel times and improve safety, upgrades which are so important this time of year.

“Motorists will notice progress on previous pinch points on the Pacific Highway, work along the Princes Highway, Great Western Highway and the completion of the Hunter Expressway.”

“Motorists can expect to see our full high visibility fleet on the road tomorrow, kicking off at 12.01am Friday 19 December running until 11.59pm Sunday 4 January 2015,” Mr Ayres said.

“The fleet includes 388 highway patrol cars, 22 crash investigation vehicles, 24 motorcycle response team motorbikes and drug and alcohol testing buses. This is the highest number of high visibility police numbers this state has ever seen.

“During the same period last year, 11 people died on our roads, while there were 1750 major crashes resulting in 534 people injured - I know we can do better than this.

“I urge motorists to avoid risk-taking behaviour and I remind everyone that Police will be out in force targeting those who ignore the warnings and endanger themselves and others.

“Double demerits will be in place from 24 December 2014 until 4 January 2015 for speeding, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences.”

“We want everyone to ensure drivers don’t take risks, and we will have the entire ‘high-vis’ NSW Traffic and Highway Patrol out there to remind motorists of their responsibilities on the roads,” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.

“We want the message of ‘arrive safely’ to be the focus for drivers as they head away and return home these holidays – and the high-visibility markings on all our vehicles and sheer volume of police on the roads will reinforce that message.”

MEDIA: Emma Higginson (Mr Gay) 0467 743 192 Sophie Onikul (Mr Ayres) 0428 596 319 Police Media: 8263 6100

View the original media release

Key highway pinchpoint road upgrades opened between Christmas day 2013 and Christmas day 2014

Pacific Highway

  • Pacific Highway- 7km Devils Pulpit: opened March 2014
  • Pacific Highway- 25 km Sapphire to Woolgoolga upgrade: opened July 2014

Southern NSW

  • Princes Highway upgrade at South Nowra: opened March 2014
  • Princes Highway southbound lanes at Gerringong: opened November 2014


  • Hunter Expressway: opened March 2014

Central Coast

  • Central Coast Highway Matcham Road to Ocean View Drive section: opened December 2013

Blue Mountains

  • Great Western Highway – Hazelbrook and Woodford: opened August 2014
  • Bullaburra to Wentworth Falls: opened November 2014

Greater Sydney

  • M5 west widened - 22 km from Prestons to Beverly Hills: opened December 2014
  • Camden Valley Way stage one and two: opened in November 2014
  • Richmond Road upgrade – stage one, between Bells Creek and north of Townson Road at Marsden Park: opened July 2014
  • Schofields Road upgrade- stage one open between Windsor Road and Tallawong Road at Rouse Hill opened in June 2014

Projects have also been completed to relieve congestion at points from the M4 motorway at Penrith, James Ruse Drive, Parramatta Road and the Great Western Highway.

Holiday pinchpoints to look out for

Road users should allow extra travel time around key holiday pinch points such as Hexham, Macksville, Coffs Harbour, Woodburn, Ewingsdale, Albion Park, Kiama, Berry, Nowra, Milton, Ulladulla and Bateman's Bay.

Roads such as the M1 Pacific Motorway, Pacific Highway, Princes Motorway, Princes Highway, Great Western Highway and Hume Highway experience heavy increases in traffic.

Roadworks suspended

All major road work will shut down on all road projects from Friday 19 December until Monday 5 January to help reduce congestion.

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