Police have been left shaking their heads after three drivers put their children at risk with dangerous driver behaviours – including high-range drink-driving – during day nine of Operation Safe Arrival.
Operation Safe Arrival began on Friday 20 December 2019 and will run until 11.59pm on Wednesday (1 January 2020).
Entering its ninth day yesterday (Saturday 28 December 2019), police were again out in force, targeting speeding, drink and drug-driving, seatbelt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences.
In three unrelated incidents, motorists were stopped for their alleged poor driving behaviour and were found to have children in the car:
- Just after 1am today (Sunday 29 December 2019), a Hyundai i30 sedan was stopped for a random breath test on Pittwater Road, Narrabeen, where the driver, a 34-year-old woman, allegedly returned a positive result. Upon closer inspection of the vehicle, officers noticed a seven-year-old boy sitting in the rear passenger seat. The woman was arrested and taken to Mona Vale Police Station for a breath analysis test, where she allegedly returned a reading of 0.171. Her licence was confiscated, and she was issued a Court Attendance Notice (CAN) for high-range PCA to appear in Manly Local Court on Wednesday 29 January 2020.
- About 4.15pm yesterday, police stopped a 39-year-old male driver in Moree, who allegedly had four children unrestrained in the vehicle. He was issued four traffic infringement notices for drive with child passenger unrestrained, totalling $1376 in fines and 39 demerit points.
- A 30-year-old woman was issued four traffic infringement notices after her Ford Territory SUV was stopped on Cochrane Street, West Kempsey, about 11.50am yesterday. The woman, who holds a P2 provisional drivers’ licence, allegedly had three children – aged one, three and four – in the vehicle who were not properly restrained. She was also not displaying her P-plates. She was fined $1300 and received 20 demerit points.
Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, stressed the importance of motorists following the road rules and thinking of other road users to ensure everyone reaches their destination safely.
“This reckless behaviour we’re seeing on our roads – particularly driving with unrestrained children in cars – is very troubling for police,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
“While, thankfully, these drivers were stopped before anyone was injured, their actions could have resulted in very serious consequences very quickly.
“To say that our officers are disappointed is an understatement. People need to realise that your choices as a driver do not just affect yourself but everyone else on the road.”
Other incidents of note during yesterday’s operational activities include:
- About 5.10pm yesterday, police were conducting random breath testing on the James Ruse Drive off-ramp from the M4. A Holden Caprice sedan was stopped, and officers spoke with the driver, a 35-year-old woman. She was allegedly unable to produce a licence and subsequent checks revealed she was disqualified from driving until October 2020. The woman was arrested and taken to Granville Police Station, where she was charged with drive motor vehicle during disqualification period. It will be alleged that this is the seventh time she has been charged with the offence in 2019. She has been refused bail to appear at Parramatta Bail Court today (Sunday 29 December 2019).
- A 27-year-old man was fined $2484 and receive 12 demerit points after allegedly driving at more than twice the speed limit on Parramatta Road, Five Dock, about 6pm yesterday. Police stopped the Ford Mustang in nearby Lavender Street after it was detected allegedly travelling at 129km/h in a 60km/h zone. The driver was issued an infringement notice for exceed speed limit over 45km/h and had his licence suspended.
- About 12.45pm yesterday, officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol were conducting proactive patrols when they were notified of a man allegedly lighting a fire in bushland near Beach Street, Harrington. The fire was extinguished by a member of the public. The officers arrested a 19-year-old man nearby and he was taken to Taree Police Station, where he was issued a CAN for intentionally cause fire and be reckless to its spread. He is due to appear in Forster Local Court on Tuesday 4 February 2020.
Key statistics (progressive total) Day 9:
• Speed infringements: 8550
• Breath tests: 366,261
• PCA: 470
• Major crashes: 609
• Fatalities: 8
Motorists are urged to check for road closures prior to travelling at www.livetraffic.com. Always allow extra time to account for holiday traffic and remember to ‘give way to safety’, especially during the bushfire emergency.