Police concerned by dangerous driving over festive period


POLICE are urging the community to think of others on the road after a significant number of dangerous driving incidents across the state during a road safety enforcement operation over the festive season.

Operation Christmas/New Year 2021 commenced at 12.01am on Christmas Eve, Friday 24 December 2021 and concluded at 11.59pm Monday 3 January 2022.

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Double demerit points were in force for the duration of the operation for speeding, mobile phone, seatbelt, and motorcycle helmet offences.

The Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, together with local police, patrolled roads across the state, targeting double demerit offences and the Fours Ds – drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving – with the aim of preventing injury and death.

During the period, police saw a concerning number of dangerous driving incidents, including excessive speed, high-range drink-driving, and reckless driving.

Across the state, police issued 8,414 speed infringements, laid 580 drink-driving charges, attended 624 major crashes, and conducted 230,366 breath tests.

Five people died in crashes over the period, the same number during the operation last year. In 2021, 269 people lost their lives on NSW roads, compared to 283 the previous year (2020).

Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW and Minister for Police Paul Toole said the NSW Government’s priority was to continue to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on NSW roads.

“One death is one too many and we will continue to do everything in our power to keep people safe on our roads, through enforcement and education,” Mr Toole said.

“This includes regional areas, where there has been an increase in visitors over the holiday period.

Police will continue to have a strong presence there to keep the community safe.

“We’d also encourage the community to continue reporting drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving as part of the Four Ds campaign.

We can all play a part in keeping our community and loved ones safe on NSW roads,” Mr Toole said.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hegarty, said police will continue to target behaviour that endangers lives on NSW roads.

“Over the festive season, we saw a number of concerning incidents of dangerous driving, including a learner driver allegedly detected high-range drink-driving at Griffith, and a woman who allegedly crashed into a road sign while drink-driving at Glenfield,” Assistant Commissioner Hegarty said.

“We will continue to have a zero-tolerance approach to law breakers.

:The end of the double demerit operation isn’t an excuse to forget the road rules, including the speed limit.

“Highway Patrol officers, together with local police, will continue to have a high-visibility presence in metro and regional areas across the state, targeting speeding, fatigue, and drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving,” Assistant Commissioner Hegarty said.

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