Canberra drivers have been warned the upcoming Christmas period is expected to be one of the busiest festive seasons on the roads in recent years.
With COVID-19 putting any possibility of international travel on hold for the foreseeable future, more motorists were expected to be travelling domestically during the Christmas and summer holiday period.
That's prompted road safety advocates to issue new alerts to drivers to be wary when travelling long distances during the holidays.
Speaking at the launch of the Australian Road Safety Foundation's Christmas road safety campaign on Friday, the foundation's chief executive Russell White said the Christmas period was one of the busiest on the roads.
"International travel isn't on the agenda, so many Australians who would have gone overseas will be staying locally," Mr White said.
"More people will be taking longer road trips to places they have been before or visiting people they haven't seen all year, and we'll see a different level of traffic flow.
"Christmas is a heightened period for road trauma, and it's even more tragic when we're focusing on people getting together with loved ones."
In the ACT in 2020, six people have died in road incidents, the same number as the year before.
ACT Policing detective acting inspector Ivan Naspe said patrols on the roads around Canberra and along areas to popular holiday hot spots, such as the South Coast, would be increased during the holiday period.
"The focus will still be on the fatal five and targeting speeders, driver distraction and people who drive under the influence," he said.
"ACT police will continue to undertake operations in conjunction with NSW and monitor roads out of and into the ACT."
Among those attending the launch of the Christmas campaign in Canberra was foundation ambassador and V8 Supercars driver Craig Lowndes. He urged drivers to slow down during the busy Christmas period on the road.
"2020 has been an unusual year, and no doubt with the increase of freedom there will be more travel," he said.
"Please prepare yourself and make sure your vehicle is in top condition and get rest before you get behind the wheel."
Mr White said COVID-19 has fundamentally changed people's road habits and the Christmas peak periods on the roads this year could be affected by those altered habits.
"While less people have been caught on the roads for speeding [during lockdown], when they were apprehended it was for extreme levels of speeding," he said. "My concern is as we come into recovery or a more normal way of things, if those poor choices were made, we could see a secondary curve of road trauma."