In a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, more Traffic and Highway Patrol officers and local police are on the roads to stop residents travelling outside of restricted areas, such as Greater Sydney and the Central Coast, without a permitted purpose.
They have been deployed across highways, main and arterial roads in an operation targeted at stopping residents subject to the current stay-at-home Public Health Order.
Police will verify the reason for travel to ensure compliance with the Public Health Order and take action against any person found to be in breach.
One of the latest incidents was on Friday, July 16, at about 6.20pm, when officers from Tuggerah Lakes Police District noticed a grey Audi sedan speeding on the Pacific Highway at Doyalson.
They stopped the car heading towards Budgewoi on Scenic Dr and spoke to the 27-year-old driver and a male passenger, also 27.
Police discovered that they did not reside in the same household and did not have a reasonable excuse to leave their homes.
Both men were issued a $1,000 fine for not complying with current health orders.
Officers from the Tuggerah Lakes Police District issued another four Penalty Infringement Notices in the 24 hours on Sunday, July 18.
Commander of Tuggerah Lakes Police District, Superintendent Gralton, said Police were pleased with the general level of compliance with the health orders so far.
“It’s been great to see the vast majority of the community doing the right thing, wearing a mask in indoor areas, checking in everywhere they go, these small actions can save lives,” he said.
“However, we have been disappointed that some community members still think the rules don’t apply to them, so if you’re not doing the right thing, prepare to be fined.”
Deputy Commissioner, Gary Worboys, said strengthening of the health orders, from July 17, meant that people would have to change the way they behaved.
He said some people were trying to disguise their trip as business when it was really a holiday, or people offering all sorts of excuses when they had a caravan in tow or camping equipment with them.
“Every single day police from the Northern Region meet with officers from Southern and Western Regions to discuss the tactics that police will use to enforce the main arterial roads, making sure they are visible at regional airports, and making sure police meet buses and trains that come out of Sydney.
“People leaving Sydney will be stopped by police and even if they’re not, the local communities will dob you in and we encourage that, it will be investigated, Penalty Infringement Notices will be issued and the people will be turned back to Sydney,” Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.
“Just simply, stay at home unless you have a very good reason to go out, we want you to work with police,” he said.