30 January 2024

Australia Day weekend sees nearly 1000 speeding tickets handed out in southern NSW

| Albert McKnight
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NSW Police have released their statistics from their operation held over the Australia Day long weekend. Photo: Julia Gomina.

Police have blasted the dangerous drivers who were endangering the safety of other road users over the Australia Day long weekend, with nearly 1000 speeding infringements handed out in southern NSW alone.

NSW Police said Operation Australia Day 2024 ran from Thursday to Sunday (25-28 January) and saw the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, together with local police, patrolling the roads to prevent 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,” police said.

Four people have died on the state’s roads this year, compared with two for the same period from 2023, while there were 302 major crashes, resulting in 110 people being injured.

When it came to the southern region of NSW, police were called to 34 major crashes and, tragically, saw two fatalities.

Also, police issued 960 speed infringements in this region, conducted 25,283 breath tests and recorded 124 positive drug-driving tests as well as 52 drink-driving charges.

READ ALSO Police operation busts more than 50 people allegedly under the influence on our roads

For instance, officers stopped a vehicle on the Hume Highway at Goulburn around 10:40 pm on Friday (26 January) after it was allegedly speeding at 140 km/h in a 110 km/h zone.

The driver, a 22-year-old from the ACT, allegedly produced an expired licence and was breath-tested, which returned a positive result.

His breath analysis allegedly returned a reading of 0.152. His licence was suspended and he was issued a court attendance notice for driving with high-range PCA, speeding and driving with an expired licence. He will face the Goulburn Local Court at a later date.

Also, officers were conducting a stationary RBT on Jamberoo Road at Albion Park around 10 am on Saturday (27 January) when a motorcyclist allegedly failed to stop for them.

The officers tried to catch up to the motorcycle, which allegedly overtook at least 12 vehicles and reached speeds of 150 km/h in the 80 km/h zone, but terminated the pursuit.

The motorcycle was found at a Jamberoo property a short time later. The alleged rider, a 17-year-old boy, was arrested and taken to the Lake Illawarra Police Station where he was issued a court attendance notice for police pursuit – manner dangerous, driving while suspended and failing to stop.

His licence was suspended, the motorcycle was impounded and he is due to face Kiama Local Court in March.

Then at 4 pm on Sunday (28 January), officers stopped a Ford Ranger on the Sturt Highway at Collingullie, west of Wagga Wagga.

The 20-year-old driver was unable to produce a licence and police checks revealed his P2 licence was allegedly suspended.

He was arrested and taken to Wagga Police Station where his identification was confirmed and he was charged with driving while suspended and passenger seatbelt not adjusted/fastened.

The man will appear at Wagga Wagga Local Court on 17 April.

READ ALSO Scooter passenger, 23, dies in Dunmore truck crash

The Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Brett McFadden, said while the summer operations had finished, police would continue to target behaviour that endangered lives on NSW roads.

“We have continued to see a number of concerning incidents of dangerous driving across the summer holidays, and we will continue to have a zero-tolerance approach to law-breakers,” he said.

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

“Police across the state will continue to have a high-visibility presence, targeting speeding, fatigue, and drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving.”

Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism Yasmin Catley said every life lost on our roads was a tragedy.

“Coming out of the long weekend, the message remains the same: be aware of your surroundings, don’t use your mobile phone, don’t drink or drug-drive and make sure you’re not tired when getting behind the wheel of a vehicle,” she said.

“There are still too many people on our roads doing the wrong thing, and we want everyone to get to where they’re going safely.”

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