Irresponsible road use and risk-taking has claimed the lives of five people on NSW roads in four days since the start of Operation Arrive Alive, highlighting the need for road users to exercise greater caution and better judgement.
The five deaths occurred since the launch of Operation Arrive Alive, a six-week state-wide high-visibility Traffic and Highway Patrol operation focussing on reducing road trauma at 12.01am on Friday 18 December 2015. The operation will run until Tuesday 26 January 2016.
“Irresponsible use of the state’s roads continues to take its toll on the community. Road users must keep in my mind that even one single fatality impacts not just the victim, but the family, friends and the community,” Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, Commander of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command said.
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“All available Traffic and Highway Patrol Command staff will be on our roads right throughout Christmas, New Year, and beyond, making sure that you, your passengers and other road users get to and from your destinations safely.”
“In these wet weather conditions, which are forecast to persist through Christmas Day, Boxing Day and beyond, road users should reduce speed, leave a greater distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front and not attempt to navigate flooded roads. Emergency services risk their own lives to save motorists stuck in flooded roads,” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.
“We urge all road users to manage fatigue. Fatigue in these wet weather conditions presents an extreme risk on the road. As does speeding, drink or drug driving, not wearing a seat belt, or being distracted by a mobile phone.
“Traffic and HWP Command officers will be working closely with general duties staff in conducting random drug and breath testing, making sure those drivers who test positive are prosecuted off our roads.
“All available THWP officers will be on our roads for extended periods, more often, courtesy of financial support from the NSW Centre for Road Safety, who we partner with in driving down the NSW road toll.
“With the release of our Mobile Drug Testing vans, our capability in reaching back roads between country towns has never been better. Those attending Christmas functions and then driving after having consumed alcohol or used drugs will be tested and banned from driving for 24 hours, pending court action. With the support of the NSW Centre for Road Safety, we will continue to deploy these vans right across the NSW road network.
“Operationally we will have the entire Traffic & Highway Patrol Command, made up of Highway Patrol Officers, Crash Investigators, supervision and support staff all focussed on having road users ‘Arrive Alive’ this Christmas, New Year, right through to the Australia day period,” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.
As part of Operation Arrive Alive, double demerit points will apply for speeding, mobile phone use, seatbelt and helmet use. Double demerits will apply from 24 December 2015 to January 3 2016 and from 22 January 2016 to 26 January 2016 inclusive.
Some of the incidents that occurred over the past few days include;
About 10.50pm Saturday (19 December 2015), a blue Toyota Rav4 driven by a 50-year-old woman south bound on Riverside Drive, Kiama Downs, struck a 32-year-old man who was lying in the middle of the road.
He sustained life threatening injuries and was taken to St George local hospital. He died of his injuries on Sunday evening.
About 11.45am on Monday (21 December 2015), police stopped and searched a Ford Falcon sedan for traffic matters at a service station on the Stuart Highway east of Wagga Wagga.
Police will allege that the driver, a 40-year-old man, was in possession of almost 30 grams of cannabis and 13.47 grams of a controlled substance. He was charged with possess commercial quantity of prohibited drugs and unlicensed driver. He was refused bail to appear in Wagga Wagga Local Court today Tuesday (22 December 2015).