Traffic and Highway Patrol officers are alarmed at the rising road toll in Northern Region and are appealing to road users there to share the responsibility of ending the tragic loss of life on the roads.
With the Northern Region road toll current at 105, 25 more than this time last year, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, Acting Commander of the state's Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, said that Operation NorthForce is solely focussed on driving down the road toll across the Northern Region.
“In the past 24 hours, four people have died on NSW roads, three of them in one crash in Northern Region. Those crashes impact entire communities and we’re appealing for everyone to share the message of responsible driving and wise judgement on the roads.
"Given the current road toll in northern NSW, those using the M1 and feeder roads need to take extra care, which is what this joint operation between the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, working with the NSW Centre for Road Safety, will be focussed on."
"We know that speeding, drink or drug driving, not wearing a seat belt or proper helmet, driving fatigued for distracted by a mobile phone are all lead to serious injury and fatal crashes on our roads, which is what police will be on our roads enforcing throughout the operation."
"We want those that are using northern roads for holiday, work, education, or day to day activities to get to and from their destinations safely, rather than becoming another sad statistic on our roads."
"With the support of the NSW Centre for Road Safety, we will have Metropolitan, Operational Support and Taskforce Officers working alongside Northern Traffic and Highway Patrol Command staff, for extended periods, ensuring that those that continue to put themselves, their passengers, and other road users at risk, are identified, prosecuted, and put off our roads."
Bernard Carlon, Executive Director of the NSW Centre for Road safety, said the partnership with police is aimed at educating and raising awareness of the dangers of unsafe driving.
“As it stands, we are losing far too many lives in crashes in northern parts of the state which is why we are investing around $130,000 from the Community Road Safety Fund into this Police operation.
“Speeding is a key concern in the Northern Region contributing to around 44 per cent of fatalities this year, while driver fatigue is the second biggest killer in the Northern Region with around 30 per cent of fatalities happening because someone was too tired to drive.
“High visibility policing is a critical part of our efforts to improve safety across the road network but it is also important for drivers to help us save lives by behaving safely on the road at all times.
“We are working towards zero when it comes to the road toll, and to do that, we need drivers to stick to the speed limit, drive only when well rested, and have a plan B if you plan to have a few drinks on a night out.”
So far this year, 311 have died on NSW roads, 38 more than the same time last year.