Motorists will need 'reasonable excuse' to be on road at Easter while facing police road safety enforcement operation

Police will implement a holiday road safety enforcement program. Picture: supplied
Police will implement a holiday road safety enforcement program. Picture: supplied

Driving over the Easter break will be quite a challenge.

Police will implement a holiday road safety enforcement program and, if motorists are pulled over, they will also have to provide a "reasonable excuse" for not being at home.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command will conduct Operation Tortoise, targeting speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences.

Double demerit points will apply from 12.01am tomorrow (Thursday) until 11.59pm on Monday.

Mass roadside breath and drug testing won't be carried out due to the coronavirus pandemic, but police will have discretion in the matter.

A police statement said, while travelling for holidays was not considered "essential" travel, officers would continue to be out in force.

"The NSW Premier and the NSW Health Minister have outlined orders under the Public Health Act that state a person must not leave their home without a reasonable excuse," the statement said.

"These rules do not prohibit people from going to the supermarket and pharmacy, going to and from work if you cannot work from home, going to medical appointments, or leaving for some brief exercise in your own neighbourhood."

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott MP, said it was "not the time to be out on the roads unless it is absolutely necessary".

"Those who are driving on the roads during this long weekend will need to have a good reason to do so, but like always they need to abide by the road rules," he said.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said, "If you do need to leave your home and get behind the wheel of your vehicle, we implore you to slow down, don't consume alcohol and drive, wear a seatbelt, and put away your phone".

"So far this year, there have been 88 fatalities on our roads, and we do not want to see that figure increase," he said.

Executive director of the Centre for Road Safety, Bernard Carlon, urged road users not be complacent despite the lower numbers of vehicles on the roads.

"We are still seeing deaths on NSW roads most days and the road toll continues to rise," he said.