Racegoers urged to plan their trip and travel safely ahead of Newcastle 500, NSW

Police are urging racegoers to plan their trip ahead of time and travel safely on the roads as they make their way to Newcastle for the finale of the Supercars Australia Championship Series, NSW Police say.

A high-visibility policing operation will be in place from Thursday 23 November to Monday 27 November 2017, for the inaugural Coats Hire Newcastle 500 event.

General duties officers from Newcastle Local Area Command and across Northern Region, assisted by specialist officers, will focus on road safety as well as anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related violence.

Northern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell, urged motorists making their way to the event to make smart decisions to avoid putting themselves and other road users at risk.

“Police will be out in force targeting speeding, drink-driving, mobile phone and seat-belt offences,” Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said.

“We are expecting more than 150,000 spectators in Newcastle this weekend, so we’re urging motorists to drive to the conditions and allow extra travel time as there will be heavy traffic and delays on major and local roads, particularly on the Friday and Saturday as crowds arrive and again on Sunday and Monday as crowds leave.

“It’s very exciting to have a major Supercars Championship race in Newcastle and we want to make sure everyone arrives at their destination safely.

“There will be Traffic and Highway Patrol officers conducting random breath tests as well as roadside drug testing, and targeting unsafe driver behaviour,” Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said.

For all special event traffic information, including road closures, special event clearways and live traffic reports, visit: www.livetraffic.com

“Our priority this weekend is to deliver a safe and family-friendly event for everyone to enjoy, while minimising any impact on the local community,” Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said.

“We’ve been working closely with Supercars Australia, Destination NSW, Newcastle City Council, private security, and other agencies to make sure this event is memorable for all the right reasons.”

Centre for Road Safety Executive Director Bernard Carlon, said it was important that everyone travelling to and from Newcastle drives to the conditions and travels safely.

“Speeding, drink and drug driving, fatigue and not wearing a seatbelt remain the four biggest killers on our roads,” Mr Carlon said.

“If you’re heading to Newcastle, drive carefully, make sure you stay under the speed limit and always wear a seat belt.”

“Don’t drive if you’re feeling tired, and plan ahead to avoid driving if you’ve been drinking during the event. If there’s even a slight risk you’re over the limit – don’t risk it, delay your trip until it’s safe.”

“As well, with changed traffic conditions and large numbers of people in Newcastle we also want drivers to slow down and watch out for pedestrians,” Mr Carlon said.

Further information about the event, including venue maps, transport and parking availability, can be found at: www.supercars.com/newcastle/

/Public Release.