Drivers urged to slow down as school returns

Police are warning drivers to slow down on NSW roads as schools return, after charging and fining more than 7,700 drivers with speeding offences during a high-visibility policing operation.

Operation Australia Day 2022 started at 00.01am on Friday 21 January 2022 and ended at 11.59pm last night (Tuesday 1 February 2022).

Additional police were deployed across both metropolitan and regional areas in NSW, focusing on road safety over Australia Day and for the remainder of the school holidays.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner Paul Glinn, said police will continue to have a noticeable presence across the state as people return to school and work.

“You will continue to see Highway Patrol officers, and local police, patrolling roads in your community, especially around school zones,” Mr Glinn said.

“Our focus is on keeping children, parents and the wider community safe as the holidays end and school returns.

Paul Glinn, Acting Assistant Commissioner

“Police won’t tolerate anyone breaking the law through dangerous driving, this includes exceeding the speed limit, driving under the influence, or driving while distracted,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Glinn said.

During the 12-day operation, police saw a concerning number of dangerous driving incidents, including excessive speed, high-range drink-driving, and reckless driving.

Across the state, police issued 7,739 speed infringements, laid 627 drink-driving charges, attended 865 major crashes, and conducted 255,607 breath tests.

Eleven people died in crashes over the period, bringing the total number of fatalities for this year to 11. Three more than last year.

Some examples of driver behaviour detected during the operation include:

  • About 1.15am yesterday (Tuesday 1 February 2022), officers attached to Blacktown Highway Patrol were conducting stationary speed enforcement duties on the M7 at Dean Park, when they detected a p-plate driver in a Toyota Camry sedan allegedly driving at 169km/hr in a signposted 100km/hr area. The driver – an 18-year-old man – limited to a maximum 90km/h, was stopped and spoken to by police. Checks revealed the P1 driver had only held a licence for three months. He was issued a Court Attendance Notice (CAN) for drive at a speed dangerous to the public, and exceed speed limit over 45km/h. He is due to appear at Blacktown Local Court on Tuesday 22 February 2022. His licence was also suspended.
  • Riverina Highway Patrol officers detected a 68-year-old woman allegedly driving a Toyota Camry at 96km/h in a signposted 50km/h zone, on the Olympic Highway, Uranquinty, just before 2.40pm on Monday 31 January 2022. Police stopped the driver about 200 meters before an active school zone, and issued the woman with a Traffic Infringement Notice (TIN) for exceed speed over 30km/h.
  • About 9pm on Friday 21 January 2022, police were called to South Street, Batemans Bay, following reports a truck had been sighted swerving across the road and crashing into gutters. Police stopped the truck at Bavarde Avenue, and the driver – a 34-year-old man – allegedly returned a positive roadside breath test. He was arrested and taken to Batemans Bay Police Station where he underwent a secondary breath analysis, which returned an alleged reading of 0.204. The man was charged with drive with high range PCA and is due to appear at Batemans Bay Local Court on Monday 14 February 2022.
  • About 8.05am on Saturday (22 January 2022), police stopped the driver of a vehicle for the purpose of a random drug test on Bondi Road, Bondi. The 39-year-old man allegedly returned a positive reading. He was arrested and taken to Waverly Police Station and underwent a secondary test which was also positive. The Pyrmont man was issued with a 24-hour prohibition from driving order and released from custody pending the results of the analysis. About 3.20pm that afternoon, police allegedly saw the same man driving in Flood Street, Bondi. He was arrested and taken back to Waverly Police Station where he was subjected to a secondary test which allegedly returned a positive result. The man was issued with a CAN for fail or refuse to comply with prohibition or requirement. Police are awaiting the analysis results from the drug test.
  • About 1am on Sunday 23 January 2022, police received complaints from the public about the manner of driving of a dirt bike. Officers sighted the rider in a reserve behind Undurra Drive, Glenfield Park. He was subjected a breath test which returned a positive reading. The 25-year-old Glenfield Park man was arrested and taken to Wagga Police Station. A breath analysis allegedly returned a positive reading of 0.108. Inquiries also revealed the man was a disqualified driver until 2024 and the bike was unregistered. The man was charged with drive with mid-range PCA, drive while disqualified, and drive unregistered/uninsured vehicle. He has been granted bail to appear at Wagga Wagga Local Court on Wednesday 23 February 2022.
  • About 8pm on Sunday 23 January 2022, a 29-year-old Byron Bay man was subjected to a breath test after driving his vehicle into a culvert on Banksia Drive, Byron Bay. The roadside breath test returned a positive reading. A subsequent breath analysis returned an alleged reading of 0.236. He was charged with driving with high range PCA. The Byron Bay man is due to appear at Byron Bay Local Court on Monday 14 February 2022. His licence was confiscated, and a suspension notice was issued.
  • About 7pm on Friday 28 January 2022, police were conducting stationary speed enforcement duties on Glendenning Road, Glendenning, when they detected a Ford Falcon XR6 travelling in a northly direction at 171km/h in a 60km/h zone. The 28-year-old Plumpton man was charged with drive at a speed dangerous and exceed speed limit over 45km/h, and his licence was suspended. He was also issued an infringement notice for use light vehicle not comply emission/silencer/noise standard for not having a rear muffler fitted to the vehicle. He is due to appear at Mt Druitt Local Court on Wednesday 30 March 2022.