Police praise majority of drivers, skippers across October long weekend

A 17-year-old p-plater has been charged as part of the October Long Weekend traffic operation, after allegedly driving with six unrestrained and unseated passengers in the cargo area of a van in Sydney’s north.

Just after 5.40pm on Sunday (4 October 2020), officers from Kuring Gai Highway Patrol were driving south on Addison Avenue, Roseville, under lights and sirens, when a Volkswagen panel van failed to move out of the path of the police vehicle.

Officers pulled the van over after they noticed a person sitting in the rear cargo area of the van. The driver, a 17-year-old male, produced a provisional licence and returned a negative breath test result.

Police opened the rear door of the van to find six teenage boys on the floor, with no seats or restraints.

The driver was issued a Court Attendance Notice for not move out of path of police vehicle, six counts of drive with passengers in part of vehicle not permitted and not comply with conditions of licence – no p-plates. He is due to appear before Hornsby Local Court on Thursday 19 November 2020.

The six passengers have been issued Traffic Infringement Notices for ride in part of vehicle for goods no seatbelt.

From 12.01am on Friday (2 October 2020) to 11.59pm on Monday (5 October 2020), officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command were out in force across the state, targeting speeding, drink and drug driving, driving while fatigued, mobile phone, helmet and other traffic offences.

During the high-visibility operation, 85,885 random breath tests were conducted with 224 people charged for PCA offences.

There were 5,679 traffic infringement notices issued; including 3,945 for speeding, 139 for mobile phones and 164 for seatbelt offences.

Four people died across the state during the operation.

Incidents of note include:

• Just before 11.30pm on Saturday (3 October 2020), officers stopped a Ford Falcon station wagon on Surf Street, Long Jetty, for a random breath test. It’s alleged the driver, a 37-year-old woman, was unable to produce a licence and subsequent checks revealed she was disqualified from driving until 2024. She underwent a breath test, which allegedly returned a positive result. The woman was arrested and taken to The Entrance Police Station, where she underwent a breath analysis test that returned a result of 0.342. The Long Jetty woman was issued a Court Attendance Notice for with drive with high-range PCA and drive while disqualified. She is due to appear before Wyong Local Court on Wednesday 4 November 2020.

• A 25-year-old man was charged and had his licence suspended after allegedly failing to stop for a random breath test on the Hume Highway, Yagoona, about 9.30pm on Saturday (3 October 2020). The Old Guildford man was allegedly involved in a police pursuit before the vehicle stopped on Wenke Crescent. The man was arrested and taken to Bankstown Police Station, where he was charged with drive while suspended, not stop vehicle when directed to do so, driver not wear seatbelt, and drive with unrestrained passenger. He is due to appear before Bankstown Local Court on Thursday 26 November 2020. His passenger, a 19-year-old man, was issued an infringement notice for passenger not wear seatbelt.

• About 4.30pm on Saturday, police attached to Sutherland Traffic and Highway Patrol were conducting speed enforcement duties when they detected a motorcycle allegedly travelling 100km/h in a 50km/h on Buraneer Bay Road, Caringbah South. Police stopped the rider, a 36-year-old man, who produced a learner licence. He returned a negative breath test, however, when he underwent a roadside drug test, he allegedly returned a positive result. The man was arrested and taken to Miranda Police Station, where he underwent a secondary oral fluid test, which allegedly returned a positive result for cannabis. He was issued with a Traffic Infringement Notice for exceed speed over 45km/h and his licence was suspended for six months. Inquiries are continuing.

• Just after 7pm on Sunday (4 October 2020), officers from Leichhardt Highway Patrol stopped a Volkswagen Golf GTI on Victoria Road, Rozelle, after it was allegedly detected travelling 135km/h in a 60km/h zone. The driver, a 22-year-old Merrylands man, returned a negative breath test and was issued a Traffic Infringement Notice for exceed speed over 45km/h. His licence was suspended for six months and his registration plates were confiscated for three.

• Just after 1.30pm on Sunday, officers from Raymond Terrace Highway Patrol stopped a Holden Captiva at the Twelve Mile Creek Rest Stop, after checks revealed the driver was wanted on three outstanding arrest warrants. The driver, a 38-year-old woman, was subjected to a roadside drug test, which returned a positive result. During a search of the vehicle, police seized small resealable bags containing a crystal substance, believed to be methylamphetamine, alprazolam tablets and a metal bar. The woman was arrested and taken to Raymond Terrace Police Station, where she underwent secondary oral fluid testing. Three outstanding arrest warrants were executed, and she was charged with drive motor vehicle during disqualification period, class A motor vehicle exceed speed over 20km/h, two counts of possess prohibited drug, possess prescribed restricted substance and have custody of an offensive implement in a public place. The woman was refused bail to appear before Raymond Terrace Local Court today (Tuesday 6 October 2020).

• Just after 11.10pm on Sunday, Wollongong Highway Patrol attended Jacaranda Avenue, Figtree, after a vehicle crashed into a parked car. The driver, a 26-year-old woman, returned a positive roadside breath test. She was arrested and taken to Wollongong Police Station, where she allegedly returned a breath analysis reading of 0.153. She was issued a Court Attendance Notice for drive with high range PCA and is due to appear in Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday 10 November 2020.

• About 7.30am on Sunday, officers from Chifley Highway Patrol stopped a Holden Astra on Vittoria Street at West Bathurst, after it was detected allegedly travelling 75km/h in a 60km/h zone. Police spoke with the driver, and subsequent checks revealed he was an unaccompanied learner. The 42-year-old man returned a positive roadside breath test and was arrested and taken to Bathurst Police Station. The man allegedly returned a breath analysis reading of 0.086. The man was charged with class A motor vehicle exceed speed, drive motor vehicle while licence suspended and drive with middle range PCA. He is due to appear in Bathurst Local Court on Monday 30 November 2020.

• Just before 10pm yesterday (Monday 5 October 2020), officers from Riverina Highway Patrol stopped a Suzuki Swift on Fernleigh Road, Ashmont. The driver, a 24-year-old woman, was subjected to a roadside drug test which returned a positive result. During a subsequent search of the vehicle, police located an electronic stun device and prohibited drugs. The woman was arrested and taken to Wagga Wagga Police Station, where she underwent a secondary oral fluid test, which allegedly returned a positive result for methylamphetamine. She was charged with possess prohibited weapon without permit and granted conditional bail to appear before Wagga Wagga Local Court on Wednesday 18 November 2020. Inquiries are continuing.

• About 12.30am (Monday 5 October 2020), police attached to Botany Bay Traffic and Highway Patrol were patrolling on Southern Cross, Drive, Mascot, when they observed a group of motorcycles allegedly traveling at excessive speeds and driving in a reckless manner. A short time later, officers detected a red Suzuki GXSR 1000 – allegedly travelling at 200km/h in a marked 80km/h zone – on the M5 East Motorway. Police stopped the motorcycle and spoke to the rider – a 26-year-old man – who produced a Queensland licence. He was charged with speed dangerous to the public and exceed speed over 45km/h. The man was issued with a Court Attendance Notice to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday 26 November 2020.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb, said while the number of fatal crashes is less than this time last year, it’s always sad to see lives lost on our roads.

“It’s very sad that four people won’t be returning home to their loved ones,” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.

“While most people were well behaved, it is still disappointing to see that some people chose to ignore road safety warnings and put their own lives and the lives of other road users at risk.”

The community stayed water safe over the long weekend with the Marine Area Command out in force across waterways from Tweed Heads down to Eden and inland towards the state’s west.

During the three-day operation targeting boating and personal watercraft safety, more than 1,100 random breath tests and 161 random drug tests were conducted. Police issued 57 infringements for a range of offences, including 10 for lifejacket offences.

Marine Area Commander, Acting Superintendent Joe McNulty, said that the community overall had been cooperative with police over the long weekend.

“We’re always patrolling our waterways to ensure that whether you’re in a boat or just enjoying the water, you’re doing so safely,” A/Supt McNulty said.

“There has been a lot of people flocking to the ocean or lakes to cool down and it’s been pleasing to see that, on the whole, people have been wearing life jackets where necessary and responded positively to police.”

With temperatures reaching over 30 degrees, officers worked with Hawkesbury Police Area Command to ensure the community were safe on the Hawkesbury River.

Hawkesbury Police Area Commander, Superintendent Jim Stewart, praised the behaviour of the community over the long weekend.

“Throughout the warmer months, our officers will continue to patrol the Hawkesbury River to ensure all who come to use this waterway are doing so safely and with consideration to others,” Supt Stewart said.

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