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Police concerned by dangerous driving over festive period

Tuesday, 04 January 2022 11:07:07 AM

Police are urging the community to think of others on the road after a significant number of dangerous driving incidents across the state during a road safety enforcement operation over the festive season.

Operation Christmas/New Year 2021 commenced at 12.01am on Christmas Eve (Friday 24 December 2021) and concluded at 11.59pm yesterday (Monday 3 January 2022).

Double demerit points were in force for the duration of the operation for speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt, and motorcycle helmet offences.

The Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, together with local police, patrolled roads across the state, targeting double demerit offences and the Fours Ds – drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving – with the aim of preventing injury and death.

During the period, police saw a concerning number of dangerous driving incidents, including excessive speed, high-range drink-driving, and reckless driving.

Across the state, police issued 8,414 speed infringements, laid 580 drink-driving charges, attended 624 major crashes, and conducted 230,366 breath tests.

Five people died in crashes over the period, the same number during the operation last year. In 2021, 269 people lost their lives on NSW roads, compared to 283 the previous year (2020).

Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Minister for Police Paul Toole said the NSW Government’s priority was to continue to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on NSW roads.

“One death is one too many and we will continue to do everything in our power to keep people safe on our roads, through enforcement and education,” Mr Toole said.

“This includes regional areas, where there has been an increase in visitors over the holiday period. Police will continue to have a strong presence there to keep the community safe.

“We’d also encourage the community to continue reporting drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving as part of the Four Ds campaign. We can all play a part in keeping our community and loved ones safe on NSW roads,” Mr Toole said.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hegarty, said police will continue to target behaviour that endangers lives on NSW roads.

“Over the festive season, we saw a number of concerning incidents of dangerous driving, including a learner driver allegedly detected high-range drink-driving at Griffith, and a woman who allegedly crashed into a road sign while drink-driving at Glenfield,” Assistant Commissioner Hegarty said.

“We will continue to have a zero-tolerance approach to law breakers. The end of the double demerit operation isn’t an excuse to forget the road rules, including the speed limit.

“Highway Patrol officers, together with local police, will continue to have a high-visibility presence in metro and regional areas across the state, targeting speeding, fatigue, and drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving,” Assistant Commissioner Hegarty said.

Some examples of drive behaviour detected during the operation include:

  • About 4.20pm on Friday 24 December 2021, officers attached to St George Highway Patrol stopped a silver Mercedes hatchback travelling south on the Princes Highway at Blakehurst. The driver – a 39-year-old Darlinghurst woman – was unable to produce a driver’s licence and was subjected to a roadside drug test, which returned a positive result for methylamphetamine (ice). Checks revealed the woman was disqualified from driving until 2039. She was arrested and taken to Kogarah Police Station, where she underwent a secondary oral fluid test. The results have been sent for further analysis. The woman was charged with drive motor vehicle during disqualification period. She was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Sutherland Local Court on Tuesday 25 January 2022.

  • About 5pm on Friday 24 December 2021, officers attached to Mid North Coast Highway Patrol were called to the Pacific Highway at Kew, following reports a grey Toyota was travelling at speed. About 5.10pm, the vehicle was sighted by police travelling 126km/h in a 110km/h signposted area, north along the Pacific Highway at Lake Innes. The driver – a 24-year-old Gladesville woman – was subjected to a roadside breath test which allegedly returned a positive result. She was arrested and taken to Port Macquarie Police Station where she underwent a secondary breath analysis, which returned an alleged reading of 0.224. The woman’s driver’s licence was suspended, and she was charged with high range PCA and Class A motor vehicle exceed speed more than 10km/h. She is due to appear at Port Macquarie Local Court on Wednesday 2 February 2022.

  • About 11.10pm on Saturday 25 December 2021, officers attached to Campbelltown City Police Area Command were called to Glenfield Road, Glenfield, following reports a Ford Territory had crashed into a road sign. The driver – a 41-year-old Macquarie Fields woman – was subjected to a roadside breath test which allegedly returned a positive result. She was arrested and taken to Campbelltown Police Station where she underwent a secondary breath analysis, which returned an alleged reading of 0.312. The woman’s licence was suspended, and she was issued a Court Attendance Notice (CAN) for drive with high range PCA. She is due to appear at Campbelltown Local Court on Friday 24 January 2022.

  • About 5.50pm on Sunday 26 December 2021, officers attached to Mid North Coast Highway Patrol stopped the driver of a Land Rover station wagon after the vehicle was detected travelling at 202km/h in a 110km/h signposted zone on the Pacific Highway near Port Macquarie. The driver – a 35-year-old Daleys Point man – had his licence was suspended and he was issued a CAN for drive recklessly/furiously or speed/manner dangerous and Class A motor vehicle exceed speed more than 45km/h. He is due to appear at Port Macquarie Local Court on Wednesday 16 February 2022.

  • Just before 6pm on Sunday 26 December 2021, officers attached to Bathurst Highway Patrol were conducting speed enforcement duties at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, when they observed a grey ute allegedly travelling in excess of 150km/h in a 60km/h zone. Police stopped and spoke to the driver – an 18-year-old North Haven man. He was issued a Traffic Infringement Notice (TIN) for exceed speed over 45km/h and not comply P2 licence, totalling $2792 and 14 demerit points. His driver’s licence was confiscated and suspended.

  • About 7.45am on Sunday 26 December 2021, officers attached to Murrumbidgee Police District were called to Kookora Street, Griffith, following reports of a two-vehicle crash. Police were told a Hyundai Elantra had allegedly attempted to overtake a Holden Barina, when the two vehicles collided and left the roadway. The learner driver and sole occupant of the Hyundai – a 20-year-old Griffith man – was subjected to a roadside breath test which returned a positive result. The man was arrested and taken to Griffith Police Station where a underwent a secondary breath analysis, which returned an alleged reading of 0.167. The man’s licence was suspended, and he was charged with high range PCA and learner not accompanied by driver/police officer/tester. The man is due to appear at Griffith Local Court on Wednesday 16 February 2022.

  • About 1.30am on Monday 27 December 2021, officers attached to North West Metropolitan Traffic & Highway Patrol stopped a green BMW 3 series travelling along the M4 Motorway, Eastern Creek, after the driver was allegedly detected travelling at 145km/h in a 100km/h zone. The driver – a 25-year-old Leichhardt man, who is on a Learner’s licence – was subjected to a roadside breath test which returned a positive result. The man was arrested and taken to Mt Druitt Police Station, where he underwent a secondary breath analysis and a drug test, which returned an alleged reading of 0.098 and a positive result for cannabis. The man was issued a CAN for learner driver exceed speed limit – over 45 km/h; learner not accompanied by licensed driver/police officer or tester; learner driver not display L plates as required; and, fail to notify change of residential address within prescribed period. His learner’s licence was suspended, and he is due to appear at Mt Druitt Local Court on Wednesday 16 March 2022.

  • About 10am on Tuesday 28 December 2021, officers attached to New England Highway Patrol were conducting speed enforcement duties when they observed a white Ford Ranger allegedly travelling at speed on Falconer Street, Guyra. A pursuit was initiated; however, terminated a short time later due to the manner of driving. About 11.10am the same day, officers were called to Link Road at Armidale, after reports a vehicle had crashed and rolled. The driver – a 33-year-old Orange man – was located a short distance away hiding in bushes. He was charged with police pursuit, common assault (DV), driving whilst disqualified and negligent driving. The man appeared at Armidale Local Court on Wednesday 29 December 2021, where he was formally refused bail to reappear at Tamworth Local Court on Monday 10 January 2022.

  • Just before 7pm on Saturday (1 January 2022), officers attached to Manning Great Lakes Highway Patrol responded to a driving complaint at Lakes Way, Forster. Police stopped a Holden Rodeo utility and the driver – a 52-year-old man – was subjected to a roadside breath test, which returned a positive result. He was taken to Forster Police Station and underwent a secondary breath analysis, which retuned an alleged reading of 0.181. His driver’s licence was suspended, and he was issued a CAN for high range PCA. About 9pm, police stopped a Holden Rodeo utility leaving a carpark at Lakes Way. Officers spoke to driver, before he was again subjected to a roadside breath test, returning a positive result. He was taken to Foster Police Station, where a secondary breath analysis returned an alleged reading of 0.138. He was charged with mid-range PCA and drive while suspended. The Forster man was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Forster Local Court on Wednesday 16 February 2022.

  • About 6.45pm on Sunday (2 January 2022), officers attached to Traffic & Highway Patrol Command were conducting speed enforcement duties at Bendalong Road, Bendalong, when they detected a silver Nissan Navara travelling at 128km/h in an 80km/h signposted zone. The driver – a 48-year-old South Australian man – continued before turning onto an unsealed road near Nerringillah Road and stopping in a paddock. He was subjected to a roadside breath and drug test, which alleged returned positive results. The man was arrested and taken to Ulladulla Police station, where he underwent a breath analysis which returned a reading of 0.099. He also underwent a secondary oral fluid test and the results have been sent for further analysis. His licence was suspended, and he was issued a CAN for mid-range PCA, drive in manner dangerous to public and Class A motor vehicle exceed speed more than 30km/h. He is due to appear at Milton Local Court on Thursday 17 February 2022.

REGIONAL STATISTICS

Western Region

Restraint Infringements – 56

Mobile phone infringements – 20

Speed infringements – 1,102

Breath Tests – 28,041

PCA charges – 70

Fatal Crashes – 0

Lives Lost – 0

Reported major crashes – 52

People injured – 33

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Southern Region

Restraint Infringements – 97

Mobile phone infringements – 28

Speed infringements – 2,344

Breath Tests – 46,925

PCA charges – 117

Fatal Crashes – 2

Lives Lost – 2

Reported major crashes – 65

People injured – 32

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Northern Region

Restraint Infringements – 120

Mobile phone infringements – 71

Speed infringements – 2,617

Breath Tests – 48,363

PCA charges – 200

Fatal Crashes – 0

Lives Lost – 0

Reported major crashes – 144

People injured – 48