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Police renew water and road safety messaging for the summer

Bondi Surf Life Savers watch over thousands flock to Bondi Beach for the traditional expats Christmas Day celebration Source: AAP

Police have issued new public messaging urging people to be safe and sensible on roads and in the water this month, following an alarming increase in road accident deaths and preventable drowning deaths this summer.

Authorities have renewed their public pleas for communities to be extra careful on roads and around water this summer.

As part of safety information campaigns, police are again reminding the public to stay safe and aware in the water after an increase in drownings over the holiday period.

Marine Rescue New South Wales say they have carried out more than 550 water rescues in the month of December - an increase of more than 29 per cent compared to December 2020.

Authorities are urging holiday goers to implement water safety measures such as wearing a life jacket, not entering the water if you can't swim, and swimming between the flags at beaches.

New South Wales Police Marine Area Control Commander, Superintendent Murray Reynolds, says many drowning accident deaths can be prevented.

"We ask that people apply extreme caution within waterways and beaches. One of the most difficult aspects of policing is investigating fatalities and understanding that the outcome was entirely preventable. if you go to the beach and you can't swim then don’t go in the water. Only go in patrolled areas and go between the flags."

And Police are urging the community to think of others on the road after a significant number of dangerous driving incidents across the state during a festive season road safety operation.

A total of 8414 drivers were caught speeding and the deaths of five people were recorded during a New South Wales Police 10-day holiday blitz operating for speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt, and motorcycle helmet offences.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hegarty says the priority is to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on roads.

"The worst thing about this is the five people who lost their lives - all crashes were avoidable. early stages in the investigation show 60 per cent of the crashes were contributed to alcohol, drugs and speed - all the things that we are targeting throughout the operation. The positive is that the positive message is getting out there and we appreciate the people who make the right decisions regarding their driving behaviours during those periods."

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