Disqualified drivers putting lives at risk – Operation Safe Return

NSW Police are reminding drivers about their responsibilities on the roads after a woman died in a head-on collision on the Central Coast, the second fatality in as many days.

The 67-year-old woman was killed when the Toyota Hilux she was a passenger in collided with a Mitsubishi Outlander being driven by a disqualified, 37-year-old female driver on Day Two of Operation Safe Return.

Disqualified drivers are among the many people NSW Police have pulled over on the road during the Operation that began at midnight on Friday 24 January 2020 and concludes at 11.59pm on Monday 27 January 2020.

In one instance, a driver who has never held a licence and is disqualified from driving until January 2064, was stopped by police about 10.55pm yesterday (Saturday 25 January 2020).

The 27-year-old man was subjected to a mobile drug test which allegedly tested positive for cannabis and methylamphetamine. He was arrested and taken to Newcastle Police Station where a secondary oral fluid test allegedly returned positive to methylamphetamine.

He was charged with drive whilst disqualified (subsequent offence) and was refused bail to appear at Newcastle Local Court today (Sunday 26 January 2020).

Police also issued 1,145 speed infringements and 59 PCAs during day two of the Operation.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, said it was worrying to see such a high-level of risky driving behaviour during what is a busy time on NSW’s roads.

“We do not want to see the unnecessary loss of lives on the roads when so many road incidents could be avoided through safer driving and making better choices before you get behind the wheel.

“Know the speed limit, have a plan B if you are drinking, respect yourself and other drivers and make sure you return home safely over the Australia Day long weekend.”

Other items of interest on day two (Saturday 25 January 2020) of Operation Safe Return include;

  • About 11.40pm, an 18-year-old man from Canberra was allegedly detected travelling 199kmph in a 110kmph zone on the Hume Highway, Mittagong. Police stopped the white Audi Sedan near the Drapers Road overpass and subjected the driver to a roadside drug test that allegedly returned a positive result for cocaine. A secondary oral fluid test came back negative. Further checks on his car and licence revealed the registration had expired and that he held a current ACT provisional licence. He was issued a penalty notice for exceed speed (greater than 45kmph) and his visiting driver privileges were immediately withdrawn.
  • Just before midnight, police observed a Grey Nissan Pathfinder travelling erratically and believed to be over the speed limit in Cooma. After driving through a number of backstreets, the car was stopped on Sharp Street and the 36-year-old female driver was subjected to a roadside breath test that allegedly returned a positive result. She was arrested and taken to Cooma Police Station where a second test returned an alleged breath analysis reading of 0.193. She was charged with Drive with high range PCA and will appear at Cooma Local Court on Wednesday 19 February 2020.
  • At 12.55am, officers attached to Orana Mid-Western Police District stopped a 36-year-old female driving a White Honda CRV on Church Street, Mudgee for a roadside test. The woman allegedly returned a result of 0.325 and was arrested for the purpose of secondary test. She was taken to Mudgee Police Station where a subsequent breath analysis reading of 0.225 was allegedly recorded. As police were speaking with the woman, she allegedly became aggressive and attempted to punch two Constables before grabbing one female officer’s throat. A struggle ensued and she has hit a third officer, a Senior Constable, before another Senior Constable deployed OC spray. The woman continued her aggressive behaviour once inside her cell and was taken to Mudgee Hospital for assessment. She was charged with drive with high range PCA, assault officer in execution of duty, resist officer in execution of duty, two counts of assault officer in execution of duty, assault occasioning actual bodily harm before and intentionally choke etc person without consent. She was refused bail to appear in Mudgee Local Court today (Sunday 26 January 2020).

Key statistics (progressive total):

Speed infringements: 2,166

Breath tests: 95,441

PCA charges: 112

Major crashes: 148

Fatalities: 2

/Public Release. View in full here.