Safety blitz on drivers

AUTHORITIES have urged people to stay safe on Tasmanian roads this Christmas, following road fatalities every weekend this month.

This year's road toll stands at 34, which is two more than  in the 2012 calendar year.

There have also been at least 237 serious road injuries this year.

Rain last night, which is forecast to continue in the North until Monday, is expected to create hazardous conditions with increased traffic on the roads.

Tasmania Police will be part of the Australia and New Zealand-wide road safety blitz Operation Crossroads from Monday to January 3.

The campaign will include additional high-visibility patrols on highways and major thoroughfares.

Commissioner Darren Hine said that in the last Christmas-New Year period there were three fatalities and nine serious injuries.

The main causes of crashes were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding  and not driving to the conditions.

``Police will be targeting these behaviours with a highly visible   presence, targeting known hotspots, and static and mobile random driver drug and alcohol testing,'' Mr Hine said.

``We want to prevent death and injury.''

Police and Emergency Management Minister David O'Byrne said that for too many people the holiday season was a sad time because of the death or serious injury of a loved one.

``If we all take responsibility for driving safely, we will reduce the chances of this Christmas being a tragic one,'' he said.

``Being around for this Christmas and for many more is the greatest gift. Every injury and every death is simply one too many.''

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