SPEEDING, drunk and unrestrained drivers have been the focus of highway patrol police over the Christmas break, with drivers in the Chifley Police District among the worst in the Western Region.
Statistics from Operation Safe Arrival, a high visibility road safety campaign, revealed that as of Wednesday afternoon, 69 drivers had been caught speeding by police, another four were unrestrained and a number of drink driving offences had allegedly been committed.
A further 124 traffic infringement notices had also been issued.
When it came to speeding, Chifley’s stats were the third worst in the region, behind Oxley with 111 and New England with 85. Orana Police District had recorded 60 speeding offences, while Central West Police District had just 21.
Senior Sergeant Colin Sheil, from the Western Region Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, said it was frustrating for police that some chose to ignore the rules.
“With speeding [offences], it never ceases to amaze me that even with the advertising, the news and the penalties imposed that people still break the law,” he said.
He said often the absent-minded driver was the worst offender.
“The person going about their usual routine, who is not paying attention to the speed they’re doing,” he said.
Another area of concern for police over Christmas are “morning after” drink driving offences, where residual alcohol puts the driver over the limit.
“We’ve had young P-platers, who are supposed to have a reading of zero, getting readings which are twice the full licence level.
“In Orange we had a driver involved in an accident with an alleged blood alcohol reading six times the legal limit.”
His advice to motorists is to leave enough time for the alcohol to leave your system.
“Leave it a lot longer, double what you think is safe for you to drive. If you’re not 100 per cent sure, plan to stay where you are, because the chances of being caught by police are very high.
“We’ve been getting people left, right and centre with random breath tests.
“If you chance it, you’ll be caught,” he said.
Sen Sgt Sheil said the high visibility campaign, which continues until January 1, had paid dividends for police, with no fatal or major injury crashes in our area.
“We have’t seen any erratic driving in years gone by. Overall drivers are adhering to our warnings.
“We’re just here to make sure people get home safely,” he said.