Drink-driving, speeding reports dominate Operation Tortoise Day One

A man has died and another has been critically injured in a crash near Tamworth overnight, as Operation Tortoise marks its first day on NSW roads.

The crash happened shortly before 11pm (Thursday 18 April 2019), when a Rav4 and a Holden Commodore collided on Manilla Road at Hallsville, 11km north of Tamworth. The driver of the 4WD died at the scene; the other driver remains in hospital.

Day One was also notable for drivers detected travelling at high speeds and, while fewer drivers have been detected drink-driving, several recorded high-range and mid-range readings.

Operation Tortoise, the state’s Easter long-weekend road safety operation, started at 12.01am on Thursday 18 April 2019 and will run until 11.59am on Monday 22 April 2019.

Police across NSW will be targeting all speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt and motorcycle helmet offences, which will attract double demerit points.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, said he was concerned about the number of alcohol-impaired drivers detected overnight.

“So far my officers have conducted 52,708 breath tests – 4357 more than the same period last year – with 16 drivers charged with drink-driving,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

“The good news is this is 46 fewer drivers charged compared to last year; however, this is still 16 impaired drivers too many who are sharing the same roads as our family, friends and workmates.

“People who choose to drive while alcohol-impaired and/or drug-impaired are targets for every Highway Patrol officer across NSW.

“I am also concerned about the reports of drivers – many young and inexperienced – detected travelling at high speeds, mostly on major roads in highly-populated areas.

“Again, these drivers have been – and will continue to be – targets of Highway Patrol officers across NSW,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

Driver behaviour (Day One)

A 26-year-old suspended learner-driver from Tamworth has been detected driving twice, after initially being stopped for a breath test by police from the Hunter Valley Police District on the New England Highway at Aberdeen about 1:50am yesterday (Thursday 18 April 2019). Checks revealed the driver’s learner’s permit was suspended and the driver was directed not to drive by police. About two hours’ later, police found the same driver crashed on the Hunter Expressway at Sawyers Gully. When police searched the vehicle they found cannabis, drug implements and $1620 cash. The man was taken to Cessnock Police Station and charged with two counts of drive while suspended, negligent driving, and having goods in custody suspected of being stolen. The driver was bail refused by police and later bail refused at Cessnock Local Court to appear at Tamworth Local Court on Wednesday 8 May 2019. His female passenger has been charged with drug offences.

A 30-year-old man, from Lithgow, has been charged after copper wire and lead was found in his car when he was stopped by Highway Patrol officers near Lithgow about 2.30pm yesterday (Thursday 18 April 2019). Officers from Chifley Highway Patrol allege the man initially attempted to avoid arrest by hiding in an industrial building at Wallerawang; however, he was arrested and taken to Lithgow Police Station where he was charged with two counts of having goods in custody suspected of being stolen, possess a prohibited drug, and being an unlicensed driver. He was also issued with infringement notices for speeding and driving a defective vehicle. He has been granted conditional bail to appear in Lithgow Local Court on Thursday 9 May 2019.

RBT/RDT

A 22-year-old man from Mosman has been charged with high-range drink-driving after allegedly avoiding an RBT site on the Bradfield Highway about 1.40am today (Friday 19 April 2019). The driver was eventually arrested at North Sydney by Leichhardt Highway Patrol officers and returned a reading of 0.202. He has been issued with a Future Court Attendance Notice (FCAN) for HRPCA and fail-to-stop for RBT. His court date is still being determined.

A 33-year-old woman, from Canterbury, has been charged with HRPCA after being breath-tested by police at Canterbury about 2.40am today (Friday 19 April 2019). The woman returned an alleged reading of 0.180 and was charged; her licence was also suspected. She is due to appear in Burwood Local Court on Tuesday14 May 2019

A 48-year-old man, from Denham Court, has been charged with mid-range drink driving after he was stopped for speeding on Denham Court Road at Denham Court about 3.05pm yesterday (Thursday 18 April 2019). A check also revealed the man’s licence was suspended, and he was arrested after testing positive to a roadside breath test. The man returned an alleged reading of 0.144 and is due to appear in Campbelltown Local Court on Tuesday 21 May 2019.

A 27-year-old man, from Ruse, has been charged with mid-range drink driving after he was stopped on the M5 at Moorebank after being detected driving at 127km/h in a 100km/h zone about 2am today (Friday 19 April 2019). He was arrested after a positive roadside breath test and returned a reading of 0.120. He is due to appear in Liverpool Local Court on Wednesday 22 May 2019.

Speeding

A 34-year-old man, from North Kellyville, has been fined after he was detected driving at 160km/h in an 80km/h zone on the Gore Hill Freeway at Artarmon about 1.20am today (Friday 19 April 2019). The man’s licence was also suspended for six months and his registration cancelled for three months.

A 21-year-old man from Baulkham Hills has been fined after he was detected driving at 110km/h in an 60km/h zone on Seven Hills Road at Baulkham Hills about 11.40pm yesterday (Thursday 18 April 2019). The man’s P2-licence was also suspended for six months and his registration cancelled for three months.

A 26-year-old man has been fined after he was detected driving at 134km/h in an 80km/h zone on the Warringah Freeway at North Sydney about 4.40am yesterday (Thursday 18 April 2019). The man’s authority to drive in NSW as a visiting driver was immediately suspended.

A 22-year-old man, from Warilla, has been charged following a pursuit along Shellharbour Road at Warilla about 7.10pm yesterday. Police will allege the rider reached speeds of up to 140km/h in a 70km/h zone. The pursuit was terminated near Windang Bridge; however, the rider was arrested a short time later and has been charged with police pursuit, drive while licence cancelled, and use vehicle with unauthorised plates as well as the speeding fine. The man was granted conditional bail to appear in Port Kembla Local Court on Wednesday 8 May 2019.

Key statistics (Cumulative total – started on 18 April 2019):

Total infringements issued (not speeding): 1854

Speed infringements: 1140

Breath tests: 52,708

Drink-driving charges: 16

Lives lost: 1

/Public Release. View in full here.