The NSW snow season is in full swing with roads around each weekend over winter expected to be just as busy as local ski slopes and toboggan parks.
With that in mind and in the wake of traffic on the opening weekend, NSW Police are urging the community to have a plan and stay ‘Snowsafe’ in 2019.
Regional NSW Field Operations, Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys APM, says additional police have been deployed to the area.
“Additional officers are deployed to the region each year, which allows police to maintain a high-visibility presence across the snow resorts and surrounding alpine areas,” Deputy Commissioner Worboys says.
“People can expect to see police out and about throughout the season targeting road safety, alcohol-related crime, anti-social behaviour and personal safety.
“We will also have licensing police patrolling venues in and around the major resorts. I urge people to have a plan, know how you are getting home, organise a designated driver or pre-arrange transportation. Do not take the risk because you will get caught.
“We have already seen heavy snowfalls in the area, so remember to act responsibly and keep an eye out for your mates so you can all enjoy a safe and fun experience on the snowfields this season.”
In terms of dealing with the long queues of traffic headed into and out of the region most weekends, Snowy Monaro tourism chief Donna Smith says patience is key.
“The peak days coming in are Friday and going out Sunday, so if possible travel outside of those peaks,” she says.
“If we have another bumper season it can be hard to avoid, but extending your stay beyond the weekend will help.
“A snow holiday is fantastic, but sometimes the traffic is challenging.”
Beyond roads and bars in the region, 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 Kosciuszko National Park.
“Hikers can access a PLB 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,” Deputy Commissioner Worboys says.
“When exploring in remote areas, these simple safety measures can mean the difference between life and death if you become lost in the national park and need immediate assistance. Hikers should also check weather conditions in advance, wear appropriate clothing and carry plenty of food and water.”
Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, is encouraging the community to get out and enjoy the ski season safely this winter.
“Our police and emergency service volunteers work tirelessly to keep everyone in the community safe – often sacrificing time with their own family and friends to look after others – so please, be responsible and be prepared,” Mr Elliott says.
“We want everyone to have an enjoyable time on the slopes, so remember to take care when driving and be aware of the precautions snow-goers can take to prevent accidents and injuries.”
Further information and advice on driving in the snow can be found at the Centre for Road Safety website. Hikers can contact the Snowy Region Visitor Centre for more information and useful links visit SnowSafe.