Regional drink drivers detected on day eight of road-safety operation

As police begin the New Year phase of the state-wide road safety operation, 340 drink drivers have been charged across New South Wales since Christmas Eve.

The state-wide road safety operation started at 12.01am last Thursday (24 December 2020) and concludes at 11.59pm on Sunday (3 January 2021).

Double-demerit points are in force throughout the period for speeding, seatbelt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences.

NSW Police officers will also be targeting other high-risk driver behaviour, including the Four Ds; drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving.

So far, 6,978 speeding fines and 6,128 infringement notices have been issued for other driving offences.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb, is appealing to all road users to make a safe start to 2021.

“Drivers should be aware that alcohol can remain in their system for some time, and many drivers are caught out driving the next day after a big night, thinking they are OK to drive despite not drinking for a number of hours.

“Experience has shown that alcohol, exceeding the speed limit and driving whilst fatigued are major factors in fatal and serious injury crashes, not just in regional NSW, but across Metropolitan Sydney as well,” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.

“Clearly from some of the examples detected in the last 24 hours, some drivers believe the law doesn’t apply to them, and such driving behaviour puts not only their own lives at risk, but also the lives of other road users.”

“The message is simple – observe the road rules and don’t become another statistic on our roads” Assistant Commissioner Webb said.

Incidents of note on day eight of the operation include:

– Just after 7.00am on Thursday 31 December 2020, Highway Patrol Officers from Mudgee were conducting speed enforcement duties on Ulan Road, Budgee Budgee, near Mudgee, when they detected a Hyosung 650 motorcycle allegedly travelling at 180km/h in a 100km/h zone. The rider, a 20-year-old man from Gulgong, who was a provisional licence holder, was issued a $2520 infringement notice for exceed speed over 45km/h, which attracts 12 demerit points and had his licence suspended and number plate confiscated. He told police he was running late for work.

– About 9.50am on Thursday 31 December 2020, police stopped a Ford station wagon for a minor traffic offence on the Olympic Highway at Cowra. The driver, a 55-year-old man from Orange, was breath tested and allegedly returned a positive result. He was taken to Cowra Police Station where he underwent a breath analysis, which returned a reading of 0.128. Inquiries revealed the man was a disqualified driver. The man charged with drive whilst disqualified and drive with mid-range PCA and will appear at Cowra Local Court on Wednesday 3 February 2021.

– About 10.10am on Thursday 31 December 2020, Bathurst HWP were conducting speed enforcement duties on Conrod Straight, Mount Panorama, when they detected a Suzuki GSX-R 1300 allegedly travelling at 111kph in a 60kph zone. Police attempted to stop the rider, but he allegedly increased speed before being stopped near the area known as ‘Caltex Chase’. The rider, a 53-year-old man from Nambour in Queensland, was issued a $2520 penalty notice for ‘Exceed Speed Limit over 45 – and his driving privileges in NSW were suspended.

– About 6.55pm on Thursday 31 December 2020, a 28-year-old man was stopped by police on Shaw Street, Wagga Wagga, for a random breath test. He returned a positive result and was arrested and conveyed to Wagga Wagga Police Station, where a breath analysis returned a reading of 0.174. The man was charged with high-range PCA and had his licence suspended. He will appear at Wagga Wagga Local Court at a later date.

– About 8.45pm on Thursday 31 December 2020, an 18-year-old man was driving a green Toyota Camry sedan on Wharf Street at Maclean, north of Coffs Harbour, when the car crashed into a pole. Police attended and breath tested the man, which allegedly returned a positive result. He was taken to Maclean Police Station where he underwent a breath analysis, which returned a reading of 0.183. The man was charged with high-range PCA and will appear at Maclean Local Court on Thursday 28 January 2021. His licence was also suspended.

– Just before 11pm yesterday (Thursday 31 December 2020), HWP officers were conducting speed enforcement duties on the Pacific Highway, Corindi Beach when they detected a Toyota Landcruiser allegedly exceeding the speed limit. Police were unable to stop the vehicle and a pursuit commenced towards Coffs Harbour. Officers deployed tyre deflation devices in Korora which successfully deflated the tyres. The vehicle continued into Price Street and collided with a parked van with the tree occupants running from the car. Police arrested an 18-year-old passenger and he was taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station and charged with breach of bail and carry in conveyance. He was refused bail and will appear in Port Macquarie Local Court today (Friday 1 January 2021). The vehicle was stolen from the Maclean area yesterday (Thursday 31 December 2020). Police are continuing investigations into the location of the two other males.

– About 1.20am on Friday 1 January 2021, officers from Georges River HWP detected a vehicle travelling without its headlights and allegedly drive through a red light on Burwood Road at Burwood. The driver, a 29-year-old woman, produced an international driver’s licence. She returned a positive roadside breath test and was arrested and taken to Burwood Police Station for a breath analysis., She returned an alleged reading of 0.267. She was charged with high-range PCA and her driving privileges were suspended. She will appear at Burwood Local Court on Tuesday 9 February 2021.

– About 3.10am on Friday 1 January 2021, Coffs Harbour police stopped a Ford Falcon sedan on Doug Knight Drive, Coffs Harbour. The driver, a 24-year-old man from Coffs Harbour, was breath tested and allegedly returned a positive result. He was taken to Coffs Harbour Police Station where he underwent a breath analysis, which returned a reading of 0.152. Inquiries revealed the man was a provisional licence holder, which was endorsed as disqualified. The man was charged with drive whilst disqualified and high-range PCA and will appear at Coffs Harbour Local Court on Monday 1 February 2021.

Key statistics (progressive total):

Speed infringements: 6,978

Breath tests: 145,928

PCA charges: 340

Major crashes: 537

Fatalities: 4

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