A HUNTER man's death in a crash near Singleton has sparked police to plead with drivers to put safety first over the holiday period.
The 30-year-old Martins Creek man died at the scene of the Glendonbrook Road crash after police found the Toyota Hilux he was driving had rolled onto its roof.
Officers from Hunter Valley Police District were called to the scene about 5am on Saturday. They established a crime scene and investigations into the circumstances are ongoing.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.
The Hunter tragedy is one of five deaths on the state's roads just two days into the annual police blitz.
Two people died in a fiery crash in the state's west on Friday, while crashes in Lismore and Kempsey each claimed the lives of a man.
Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said the tragedies had marked a devastating beginning to Operation Safe Arrival, the annual police blitz across NSW.
"These fatalities mean more families will have a loved one missing from holiday celebrations," Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
"If that isn't enough to encourage people to drive safely, I don't know what is."
Police across the state conducted more than 80,000 breath tests on the first day of Operation Safe Arrival, laying 109 drink-driving charges.
They also issued more than 2000 speeding infringements and recorded 149 major crashes.
On Saturday morning, officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command stopped a vehicle on Turton Road at Broadmeadow after a passenger allegedly threw a lit cigarette onto the road "causing embers and ash to emit and spread across the roadway".
Officers stopped the car and issued a $1320 infringement notice for depositing a lighted cigarette during a total fire ban.
A second passenger, who police said had an arm out of the car smoking, was fined $344 for having a part of the body outside the car's window.
Operation Safe Arrival and double demerits are in force until January 2.
Separately, police are also investigating after a man was found dead in a North Gosford unit on Friday evening with what police described as an apparent stab wound.
The man's body was discovered in the Henry Parry Drive unit about 11pm after officers followed up on a concern for his welfare.
Inquiries are ongoing and a report will be prepared for the coroner.