One week into Operation Safe Arrival and NSW Police remain frustrated that drivers are still not getting the message about responsible driving over the festive season.
Police have issued over 6,000 speeding infringements and over 350 PCA charges in the first seven days of Operation Safe Arrival, the annual road policing campaign for Christmas and New Year.
The operation runs from Friday 20 December 2019 until 11.59pm on New Year’s Day (Wednesday 1 January 2020) and Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, said he hopes to see an improvement in driver behaviour.
“We’ve got unlicensed and disqualified drivers, un-supervised learner drivers and drug and alcohol-affected motorists getting behind the wheel and putting lives in danger,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
“Officers are also seeing people take risks with young children in the car, including not having infants properly restrained, and people driving at dangerous speeds, well over the limit.
“We want everyone to enjoy this time of year so please, think before you drive and always have safety top of mind when you are operating any vehicle.”
Some examples of irresponsible driver behaviour detected during the seventh day of Operation Safe Arrival (Thursday 26 December 2019) include;
- A woman was prohibited from driving for 24 hours after allegedly testing positive in a roadside drug test. About 4.40pm, the 31-year-old was driving a Holden Commodore along Whitton Street Narrendera with two children in the car, one aged 25 days, when police stopped her vehicle. She was subject to a roadside oral fluid test that produced a positive detection for Methylamphetamine. The woman was arrested and taken to Narrandera Police Station for a secondary test that also allegedly tested positive. She was issued a Court Attendance Notice for drive with illicit drug present in oral fluid and will appear in court at a later date.
- About 11.05am, a 60-year-old man driving a Toyota Avalon was stopped on Fowler Road in Merrlyands for a random breath test. He allegedly returned a positive roadside reading before being arrested and taken to Merrylands Police Station where he allegedly returned a breath analysis reading of 0.162. He was issued a Field Court Attendance notice for high range PCA to appear in Parramatta Local Court on Tuesday 21 January 2020.
- At 3.45pm, a 32-year-old man driving a Ford Falcon was stopped at Darby Falls Road in Cowra when police allegedly observed him travelling at excessive speed in a 100km/h zone. Police followed the vehicle and found it stopped in a nearby paddock, after leaving the road and crashing through a fence. The driver was subjected to a breath test that allegedly returned a positive result. He was arrested and taken to Cowra Police Station where a breath analysis returned an alleged reading of 0.180. He was charged with high range PCA and is due to appear in Cowra Local Court on Wednesday 22 January 2020.
- Just before 4pm, a 21-year-old man was stopped in his Toyota Celica in South Wentworthville when police observed an 11-month-old in the rear of the vehicle, allegedly incorrectly restrained. Further checks revealed the driver was allegedly disqualified from driving for six months. He was issued a field court attendance notice to appear in Parramatta Local Court on Thursday 23 January 2020.
- Around 4.15pm, a 22-year-old man was observed riding an unregistered trailbike in a carpark of a club on Beach Road in Batemans Bay. Police attended and subjected the man to a breath test that allegedly returned a positive result. He was arrested and taken to Batemans Bay Police Station where a subsequent breath analysis reading of 0.210 was allegedly recorded. His learner’s driver licence was also revealed to be currently disqualified. The 22-year-old was charged with drive whilst disqualified, drive with high range PCA, use unregistered motor vehicle on a road and use uninsured motor vehicle on a road. He was issued a Field Court Attendance notice and is due to appear in Batemans Bay Local Court on Monday 17 February 2019.
- About 10.30pm, police observed a vehicle stop short of an RBT location on Five Islands Road, Cringila, before the driver reversed at speed – travelling west in an eastbound lane. Officers located the vehicle in a nearby carpark and spoke with the 39-year-old male driver. Checks of the man’s licence revealed he was disqualified from driving until 2024. He was issued a Court Attendance Notice for drive whilst disqualified and drive manner dangerous and will appear in court at a later date.
- A 20-year-old man was stopped by police at 11.35pm on James Ruse Drive in Rosehill after he was allegedly observed driving his Ford Fiesta up to 125km/h, well over the 70km/h speed limit. Police issued him an infringement notice for exceeding the speed limit by more than 45kmh.
Key statistics (progressive total):
- Speed infringements: 6,285
- Breath tests: 263,805
- PCA: 358
- Major crashes: 483
- Fatalities: 6
Motorists are urged to check for road closures prior to travelling at www.livetraffic.com. Always allow extra time to account for holiday traffic and remember to ‘give way to safety’, especially during the bushfire emergency.