Police are applauding the attitude of most drivers in NSW after no fatal crashes were recorded during the first day of the Australia Day long weekend traffic campaign, Operation Safe Return.
Sadly though, already 135 major crashes have been reported on the state’s roads with 45 people suffering injuries in those incidents.
Double demerits will be enforced for speeding, seatbelt/restraint and helmet offences until 23.59hrs on Monday, 28 January 2013.
Already 1535 motorists have been identified speeding and after conducting more than 37,700 breath tests 25 drivers have been charged with drink driving.
Acting Superintendent Mark Cook, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, said officers are encouraged by the attitude of most drivers but stressed there was still a small section of motorists who continued to flout the road rules.
“Although it is satisfying to see that no one has lost their life on NSW roads so far this long weekend we still have two days to go.
“Police have conducted 4500 more breath tests than for the same time in 2012 and we have detected 25 drunk drivers compared to 86 last year. It is still 25 too many but certainly pleasing to see the numbers declining at this early stage of the operation.
“I urge motorists and road-users to be vigilant at all times but particularly for the remainder of today and tomorrow as people continue to celebrate Australia Day at various pubs, clubs and private residences.
“If you are going to drive – do not drink! I urge motorists and pedestrians to take extra care this long weekend during Operation Safe Return,” Acting Superintendent Cook said.
In some examples of irresponsible driver behaviour police detected the following motorists who have been issued infringements or will face charges at court.
About 10.45am on Friday 25 January police detained a young woman driving a Ford Ka on the Hume Highway at Ingleburn after she was detected at 139km/h in a 110km/h zone. The provisional (P1) driver was found to have an expired registration and was issued a number of infringement notices and had her licence suspended on the spot.
About 6pm police from Manning Great Lakes detected a 32-year-old man driving on the Pacific Highway at Wootton travelling at 133km/h in a 110km/h zone. He was charged with drive/speed dangerous, exceed speed over 45km/h, unaccompanied learner and had his licence suspended.
Police from Goulburn HWP stopped a Ford sedan, with no number plates, on the Hume Highway at Penrose at 12.50pm yesterday travelling at 151km/h in a 110km/h zone. The 19-year-old woman from Bellingen was the holder of a suspended provisional (P1) licence and her vehicle was unregistered. Inquiries revealed she had been stopped earlier by Ashfield HWP for speeding and officers removed the plates. She was arrested and charged with exceed speed, drive whilst suspended, operate vehicle during number plate confiscation period, tamper/remove confiscation notice, use unregistered motor vehicle and use uninsured motor vehicle. She will appear at the Goulburn Local Court on 20 February 2013.
About 2.55pm on Friday 25 January Coonabarabran HWP detected a 42-year-old Milroy man travelling at 91km/h in a 50km/h zone in Gulgong. He was issued a $799 radar infringement notice and advised his licence would be suspended for three months.
Shortly before 3pm yesterday, police patrolling the Hume Highway at Mittagong issued a 29-year-old Southport (QLD) man infringement notices for driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle. He was also served with a court attendance notice for drive whilst suspended. A short time later he was observed by the same officer to be attempting to continue his northbound journey and was again stopped. He was arrested and taken to Bowral Police Station where he was charged with drive whilst suspended and being unregistered and uninsured. He was bailed to appear at the Goulburn Local Court on 6 February 2013.