POLICE will be out in force from Thursday as a high-visibility operation gets underway for the Bathurst 1000.
General duties officers from Chifley Local Area Command, and across Western Region, will be assisted by specialist officers as they crack down on road safety and anti-social behaviour.
Western Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie, has urged people headed to Mount Panorama to plan their journeys ahead of time and take care on the roads.
“We are expecting more than 200,000 visitors to Bathurst this weekend, so we’re urging motorists to be extremely vigilant on the roads and be mindful of their speed, fatigue and driving behaviour,” he said.
“Drivers must exercise patience, allow extra travel time and expect delays, particularly on the Great Western Highway and Bells Line of Road, to accommodate the significant increase of traffic in the area.”
While there has been a great improvement in crowd behaviour in recent years, Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said motorists continue to take risks on the roads.
Last year, police conducted 3800 random breath tests and charged two drivers with drink-driving.
Officers also issued 38 Traffic Infringement Notices (TINs), 16 of which were for speeding offences.
“I’d like to remind all motorists to leave the racing to the professionals and start the weekend off on a good note, allow for changes to traffic conditions and be considerate of other drivers,” Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.
“Traffic and Highway Patrol officers will also be out in force, conducting random drug and alcohol tests and targeting unsafe driver behaviour, to make sure everyone arrives at their destination safely.”
Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said the priority for police over the weekend is to “deliver a safe and family-friendly event” with minimal impact upon the local community.
Motorists are advised to check Live Traffic for information on road closures, special event clearways and live traffic reports to make travelling easier.