Police are reminding the public of their responsibilities surrounding livestock on public roads after two men were seriously injured in separate collisions with cattle in the state’s west.
About 1pm on Friday (28 May 2021), a group of motorcyclists were travelling north west along Wyuna Road, Nombi, about 45km east of Coonabarabran, when they navigated through a signposted livestock grazing area.
It is believed one rider, a 36-year-old man, collided with livestock on the roadway causing him to be ejected from the motorcycle.
He was treated at the scene by paramedics before being airlifted to Tamworth Base Hospital in a stable condition.
Officers attached to Orana Mid-Western Police District attended and commenced inquiries.
In a separate incident, shortly before 9pm on Saturday (29 May 2021), an 18-year-old man was driving a Ford Meteor northbound on Thunderbolts Way, Yarrowyck, about 30km north-west of Armidale, when he collided with several cows which had allegedly strayed onto the road.
The vehicle left the roadway and crashed into a ditch, trapping the man by confinement.
Emergency services attended and he was released.
He was treated for head and internal injuries and airlifted to John Hunter Hospital in a critical condition.
Officers attached to New England Police District attended and commenced an investigation.
As inquiries continue into the incidents, Acting Detective Inspector Damian Nott, State Rural Crime Coordinator, Rural Crime Prevention Team, is reminding livestock owners and the public alike of their responsibilities when it comes to livestock on public roads.
“As a stock owner, you are responsible to safeguard against your stock straying onto public roads; that is to ensure boundary fences are stock proof and the Biosecurity Act 2015 is adhered to,” A/Det Insp Nott said.
“If your stock stray onto a public road and are a contributing factor in a motor vehicle accident, you may be charged with a criminal offence.”
A/Det Insp Nott said motorists also have a role to play in reporting straying stock and driving to the conditions when passing through a signposted stock zone.
“If you’re a motorist who disregards a signposted stock zone and fails to give way to livestock travelling along public roads and travelling stock routes, you may face hefty fines or in some instances face traffic offences such as negligent driving or failing to give way.” A/ Det Insp Nott said.
If you locate straying stock on a public road, report it immediately to your local Council Ranger or Local Land Services.