Holiday speedsters on our roads

Yass police are pleased with the lack of drink drivers on our roads during the Christmas period, but still disappointed with the number of speedsters.

The state’s holiday road toll stood at 13 at the time of press – five fewer than for the same period last year.

Operation Safe Arrival began Friday, December 21 and finishes today targeting speeding, drink-driving, seatbelt and other traffic offences.

Double demerit points were in place from 12.01am Friday, December 21 until 11.59pm on New Year’s Day for speeding, seatbelt and helmet offences.

Yass acting sergeant Mat Carroll said on Wednesday within the Goulburn Local Area Command, 10,942 breath tests had been conducted, two days out from the completion of the operation.

A total of 672 motorists had been fined for speeding, 175 other infringement notices had been issued and 29 motorists were stopped for seatbelt and restraint offences.

He said in the Yass area in particular, 2753 breath tests were conducted, 236 motorists were caught speeding, 44 for other traffic offences, and one for a seat belt offence. Only two were caught drink driving.

Eight motorists were caught driving unregistered vehicles, two drove while unlicensed and one drove while his licence was suspended for unpaid fines.

“Overall, considering the amount of traffic that flowed through our sector, the results were pretty good,” he said.

He believed there were fewer accidents because of the high police presence on the roads in conjunction with the anti-fatigue Driver Reviver initiative.

“Whenever Driver Reviver operates in conjunction with these operations, accidents are kept to a minimum. So obviously people heed the advice to rest. It plays an important role in also reducing the number of road accidents during these holiday times.

“To conduct nearly 3000 breath tests and get only two drink drivers, shows people are hearing the message… it’s just a shame people are continuing to speed.

“It’s pleasing to get through this major holiday time with no loss of life and no serious injuries as a result of accidents.”

Incidents

* The most serious offence involved a teenager who was caught speeding more than 45km/h over the limit near Yass. She had her car impounded for three months and her licence was automatically suspended.

The 19-year-old woman from Woodcroft, South Australia was detected travelling at 198km/h in a 110km/h zone.

Police clocked the Mitsubishi Lancer at Bookham at about 8.50am on Saturday, December 29.

She was arrested and taken to Yass Police Station, charged with driving at a speed dangerous and exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h.

She was granted conditional bail and will appear before Yass Local Court on February 5.

* On the same day at about 12.30am, a 37-year-old South Australian man was caught speeding 162km/h in a 110km/h zone on the Hume Highway at Goulburn.

A nine-month-old baby boy was unrestrained in the middle rear seat.

The driver was issued a ticket for exceeding the speed limit over 45km/h and driving with an unrestrained child in the vehicle. His driving privileges in NSW were suspended. 

* A 34-year-old woman was issued an on-the-spot $719 fine for speeding more than 30km/h over the limit. Police caught her travelling 153km/h on the Hume Highway at Bowning at 5.50pm on New Year’s Day.

* A 44-year-old Murrumbateman man was charged with low-range drink driving on the Barton Highway at Murrumbateman at 12.33am on New Year’s Day. His blood-alcohol content was 0.067. He was remanded to appear before Yass Local Court on February 5.

* A 28-year-old man was fined $719 for speeding 153km/h on the Hume Highway at Bowning. Police stopped him at 12.50pm on New Year’s Eve.

* A 33-year-old ACT man was charged with mid-range drink driving on the Barton Highway on December 23. He recorded a blood-alcohol content of 0.095 and will appear before Yass Local Court on February 5.

* A 23-year-old Canberra man was charged with driving while suspended at 7.21pm on December 21. Police pulled the white Toyota ute over on the Barton Highway at Murrumbateman as part of a random breath-testing operation. Police checks revealed his licence had been suspended on November 15 last year for unpaid fines. His vehicle was also unregistered. He will appear before Yass Local Court on February 5.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander Assistant Commissioner John Hartley said police across the state continued to witness appalling acts of irresponsibility on the roads.

“An inexperienced driver travelling at almost 200km/h is a disaster waiting to happen in anyone’s book,” he said.

“It is equally irresponsible to drive at 162km/h with an unrestrained baby in the back. Any accident or sudden deceleration of that car, and we would be dealing with a fatality.

“Drivers from interstate must also realise they are not immune to the traffic laws in New South Wales,” he said.

“The impact of someone being injured in a road crash can and does stay with a family for long after the headlines fade.

“When you take control of a vehicle you must make a choice about how you act on the road and the impact that might have not only on yourself and those in your vehicle but those people on the road with you.”

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