NSW Police launch Operation Snow Safe for 2021 ski season

NSW Police is urging the community to have a plan and stay ‘Snow Safe’ as the 2021 ski season commences this long weekend.

The official NSW snow season begins tomorrow (Saturday 12 June 2021), and – with early heavy snowfalls – ski resorts are already welcoming visitors.

A bumper crowd is expected this season due to more Australians holidaying locally this year.

Additional police will be deployed to the Snowy Mountains region from across the state as part of the high-visibility police operation. Locals and visitors can expect to see officers from General Duties, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Southern Region Enforcement Squad, licensing police and other specialist officers – including trained Alpine Operators – throughout the season.

Regional NSW Field Operations, Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys APM, said those heading to the snow must prioritise their own safety, and plan their trips ahead of time.

“The population of our snowfields and surrounding towns increases exponentially during winter – even more so this year because of international border closures due to the pandemic – and for police, our number one priority is always community safety.

“We have already seen heavy snow falls in the area, so remember to act responsibly and make smart decisions behind the wheel; keep a safe distance between your vehicle and others, take regular breaks and fix snow chains to your tyres in slippery conditions,” Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.

Southern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Joe Cassar APM, said police will be out in force to ensure the safety of the community.

“People can expect to see police out and about throughout the season targeting road safety, alcohol-related crime, anti-social behaviour and personal safety,” Assistant Commissioner Cassar said.

“We will have additional staff seconded to Jindabyne from other police districts who will support the work of our local police, and other units including Highway Patrol, the Dog Squad and the Region Enforcement Squad.

“Our priority is to keep people safe – on the slopes, roads, licensed venues and out and about in the alpine region.

“Snowfield conditions can be difficult to navigate so we’d like to remind everyone to prioritise safety on your journey – pay close attention to the roads, don’t get distracted and slow down,” Assistant Commissioner Cassar said.

NSW Police are also urging hikers to ensure their personal safety by submitting a Trip Intention Form and hiring a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) before heading out into the national park. PLBs are free of charge by way of a refundable deposit from one of the National Parks and Wildlife Service centres located at numerous locations, including Jindabyne, as well as Perisher and Thredbo resorts. Hikers – no matter how experienced – should stick to the tracks, as whiteouts and snow clouds can quickly and easily disorientate.

Visitors should expect bad weather and be prepared for it, with the right thermal clothing and plan their journeys ahead of time.

Skiers and snowboarders are reminded to stay in designated areas.

Further information on driving in snowfield conditions can be found by visiting the Centre for Road Safety website: https://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/index.html

Hikers can contact the Snowy Region Visitor Centre for more information or visit: https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au or www.environment.nsw.gov.au.

For general snow safety tips when visiting alpine regions, as well as useful links you can access: https://snowsafe.org.au/

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