At least 5000 Illawarra motorists are expected to be breath-tested this long weekend as police begin their annual statewide, high-visibility traffic enforcement operation.
Operation Slow Down began at midnight last night, and focuses on drivers who flout the speed limit, drink and use drugs behind the wheel, drive while tired, and fail to use seatbelts or wear helmets.
Wollongong inspector Brian Wyvers said it was particularly important for motorists driving from metropolitan to country areas to be aware of changing traffic conditions.
"They're used to having kerbs and guttering, whereas on some country roads they don't have that," Insp Wyver said.
During Operation Slow Down, double demerit points apply for speeding, along with seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences.
The drug-detection unit is also expected to make an appearance in the Illawarra.
Insp Wyver said while most Illawarra motorists abided by drink-driving laws, there were still those who chose to "run the gauntlet".
"We always manage to locate someone," he said.
There have been 33 fewer deaths on NSW roads this year compared to the same time last year.
Three people lost their lives on state roads during the 2012 Operation Slow Down, while 170 people were injured in 544 major crashes.
Officers also stopped 4080 drivers for speeding, while 154 were charged with drink-driving.
Police will also be keeping a close eye on pub and hotel patrons across the region during Sunday's NRL grand final.
Insp Wyver said police would be making sure revellers felt safe around Wollongong.
"Police want people to be able to go out and about and not be harassed and intimidated by other people," he said.
"We want them to enjoy themselves, we're not suggesting they don't ... that's what the long weekend's about."
Illawarra Australian Hotels Association branch representative Andy Hannelly said hoteliers would be taking a zero tolerance approach to intoxicated patrons.
"Antisocial behaviour won't be tolerated," he said.
"We'll have a strong focus ensuring there will be no underage people in and around licensed premises.
"As hoteliers what we want is for people to come out, have a great day, enjoy themselves, enjoy the football and get home safely."
Police will also target antisocial behaviour around popular beaches this weekend, and have urged beachgoers to be aware of their valuables at all times.