HAVE a good time, be sensible and leave the rally driving to the pros.
That’s the message from police to residents of the Clarence Valley and further abroad with the tenth leg of the World Rally Championship kicking off near Coffs Harbour on Thursday.
The four-day event is expected to bring tens of thousands of people to the Coffs Harbour and Clarence Valley areas and police have launched Operation Lexington to make sure everything flows smoothly.
According to police, the high-visibility operation will involve general duties police, highway patrol, licensing officer, the operational support group (OSG), a bicycle unit and a dog squad – it will particularly focus on road safety and anti-social and criminal behaviour.
Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command Superintendent Mark Holahan said race-goers should be able to enjoy themselves in a safe and secure environment.
“This is not about us being the fun police,” Supt Holahan said.
“It’s about ensuring the event is safe and secure for the tens of thousands of people, including many families, who will be in attendance.
“We want everyone to have fun and enjoy the event.
“We will be maintaining a highly visible presence in Coffs Harbour and surrounding towns and anyone caught causing trouble or breaking the law will be dealt with accordingly,” he said.
With increased traffic expected on the region’s roads before, during and after the rally, Supt Holahan said drivers needed to behave and drive to the conditions.
“Leave the daring and death-defying acts to the professional rally car drivers taking part in the event. That sort of driving has no place on public roads,” he said.
“We will have additional highway patrol cars out and about before, during and after the event and we will come down hard on those law-breaking motorists who put not only themselves but other innocent road users at risk.”