Crackdown on Four Ds for safer roads this Christmas/New Year period

Thursday, 23 December 2021 03:26:34 PM

The Minister for Police has joined the NSW Police Force to launch a police operation to target drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving to prevent road trauma over the Christmas/New Year holiday period.

Operation Christmas/New Year 2021 will commence at 12.01am tomorrow (Christmas Eve – Friday 24 December 2021) and conclude at 11.59pm on Monday 3 January 2022.

Double demerit points will apply for the duration of the operation for speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt, and motorcycle helmet offences.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, together with local police, will be patrolling all 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.

Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Minister for Police Paul Toole said police would have a strong presence in the regions, with more people than usual leaving Sydney to reunite with family and friends.

“For many, it will be the first time they’ve hit the road since COVID restrictions eased, so please plan ahead, take your time and be patient,” Mr Toole said.

“No one wants to get a fine or worse still, lose their licence at Christmas, but we make no apologies for taking a tough stance so everyone can be reunited with their loved ones safely.”

Metropolitan Field Operations Deputy Commissioner Malcolm Lanyon said road safety-enforcement operations are about ensuring everyone makes it to their destination safely and home again.

“This is the time of year for celebrating and being with those we care about, and anyone who travels to visit their friends and family needs to take special care to reduce the risk of not arriving safely,” Deputy Commissioner Lanyon said.

“With rain predicted across the state in coming days, we also urge motorists to drive to the conditions and implore every road user to be aware of their surroundings and be courteous to others.

“So far this year, 262 people have lost their lives on NSW roads and we do not want any more families to be without someone these holidays, especially due to recklessness or carelessness.”

NSW Crime Stoppers has also relaunched the Four Ds campaign, which was first launched last December (2020) to reduce injuries and fatalities on NSW roads by enlisting the community to report drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving.

The campaign has seen traffic-related reports to Crime Stoppers surge by 150 percent in 2021, compared to the previous year.

Following the success of the campaign and ahead of this busy Christmas/New Year period, police and Crime Stoppers are encouraging road users to report incidences of the Fours Ds to keep loved ones safe.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Paul Glinn, said police are expecting the roads to be busy with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and more people travelling to see loved ones.

“Keeping the public safe is our top priority – and we’re asking for you to help us protect yourselves, loved ones and the community on NSW roads,” Assistant Commissioner Glinn said.

“If you see or know anyone who is drink, drug, dangerous or distracted driving, please report it to Crime Stoppers and we will investigate.

“Our message to motorists breaking the law is clear: someone is watching you now and you will get caught,” Assistant Commissioner Glinn said.

Road users are urged to report the Four Ds without jeopardising their safety or breaking the law through the following ways:

  • Use a passenger to record the time of the incident and the registration of the driver’s vehicle.
  • If possible, keep dashcam vision of the incident and provide it to Crime Stoppers or police.
  • If it’s an emergency – where there is a threat to life or someone’s safety – call Triple Zero (000) through a passenger, hands-free, or pull over somewhere safe.
  • If it’s not an emergency, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

NSW Crime Stoppers CEO, Peter Price, said community involvement shows just how important road safety is to everyone.

“Our contact centre operates 24/7, 365 days a year, or people can report online. Your report could help save a life,” Mr Price said.

“This is one of the most important campaigns we have ever embarked upon. These traffic issues are actually an offence, and these offences often lead to innocent people being injured or killed, which is absolutely devastating for their families.

“We are counting on the community’s strong relationship with us to contact Crime Stoppers and make our roads safer for everyone.”

Case studies from Four Ds campaign

NSW Police and Crime Stoppers are most concerned about the safety of people on our roads. Stopping or preventing people from driving drug or drink affected, dangerous or distracted is a key element in reducing injuries and death on our roads.

Case Study I: During December 2020, information was received by NSW Crime Stoppers as a result of the Four Ds campaign in relation to an alleged repeat drink driver. The name and vehicle registration were provided along with information that the female driver attends a specific hotel every Friday where she then drives home intoxicated. Information was passed on to police, who commenced inquiries. As a result, the driver, a 58-year-old woman, was stopped by police in her car and underwent a roadside breath test, which allegedly returned a positive result. The driver was issued an infringement notice for low range PCA and her licence was suspended for three months. In March 2021, Crime Stoppers received information about the same person driving under the influence. That person was stopped by Traffic and Highway Patrol where a roadside test produced an alleged positive result for cannabis. The driver was issued with a further infringement notice for drive with illicit drug present in oral fluid and given a prohibition of driving notice.

Case Study II: During March 2021, Crime Stoppers received information as part of the 4Ds campaign relating to a person who regularly drove their vehicle while affected by drugs. Crime Stoppers provided the information to police. On Wednesday 21 April 2021, police stopped the vehicle and conducted an oral fluid test on the driver, a 42-year-old man, who allegedly returned a positive detection to methamphetamine. The driver was issued with an infringement notice for drive with illicit drug present in oral fluid and given a prohibition of driving notice.