Drink and drug-driving offences remain a concern after Operation Chrome – Western Region

Forty-seven drink and drug-driving offences were detected during a road safety enforcement campaign conducted across the Western Region.

Operation Chrome was enforced across Western, Southern and Northern regions between Friday (16 August 2019) and Sunday (18 August 2019), targeting poor driving behaviour on rural roads, including speeding, drink and drug-driving, not wearing seatbelts, using a mobile phone behind the wheel and fatigue.

Across the state police conducted 18,436 random breath tests, 445 random drug tests and overall laid 251 charges.

Of that figure, 112 motorists were charged with drink driving and 35 for drug driving.

A further 1201 Traffic Infringement Notices were issued, including 30 for not wearing a seatbelt.

Western Region Traffic Tactician, Inspector Ben Macfarlane said the operation utilised police from all districts within the Western region, working alongside officers from the Traffic & Highway Patrol Command.

“Campaigns such as Operation Chrome only strengthen the police stance about road safety in rural areas,” Inspector Macfarlane said.

“We will not hesitate to stop a vehicle if we think the driver’s behaviour places everyone in the vehicle at risk of being in a crash.

“Police will continue targeting those roads that lead to the major arterial routes across the state such as the Newell, New England and Mitchell highways.

“The focus on rural roads will not end because Operation Chrome has. We are making state-wide preparations to be on the road in numbers during the October long weekend and school holidays.”

During the Western Region phase of Operation Chrome police conducted 3123 random breath tests and charged 25 people with drink driving.

Police conducted 176 random drug tests, with 22 people returning a positive indication for the presence of a prohibited drug. Ten seatbelt offences were also detected.

One fatality occurred in the Western Region throughout the operation, as a female cyclist died following a crash in Yarrawonga near Mudgee on Saturday (17 August 2019). About 9am Saturday, two cyclists were travelling west along Spring Creek Road, about 12km from Gulgong, when a utility and the female cyclist collided, knocking her to the ground. The 52-year-old woman died at the scene.

About 1.25am yesterday (Sunday 18 August 2019), officers attached to Chifley Police District stopped a Mitsubishi Magna being driven on Main Street, Lithgow for purpose of a random drug test. The male driver, aged 24, produced a positive indication for the presence of cannabis and methylamphetamine. He was suspended from driving for 24 hours. Police will await laboratory testing results from a second sample before determining further legal action.

About 1.07am Saturday (17 August 2019), officers attached to Orana Mid Western Police District stopped a Holden utility on Cobborah Road at Dubbo for purpose of a random breath test. The P2 provisional licence holder, a 19-year-old man from Dubbo, returned a positive result. A subsequent breath analysis at Dubbo Police Station returned an alleged reading of 0.170. He was charged with not display P-plates, and drive with high range PCA. He will appear before Narromine Local Court on Tuesday (3 September 2019).

About 3.10am yesterday (Sunday 18 August 2019), officers attached to New England Police District stopped a Toyota Camry being driven on Schwenkes Lane at Gilgai for a random breath test. The driver, a 34-year-old woman, returned a positive result. She was arrested and taken to Inverell Police Station for a breath analysis. This returned an alleged reading of 0.165. The woman’s licence was suspended, and she was issued a court attendance notice for the offence of drive with high range PCA. She will appear before Inverell Local Court Thursday 12 September 2019.

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