We have lost twice the number of lives when compared with the same period as last year during Operation Safe Arrival, which prompts police to urge motorists to take care on NSW roads.

Operation Safe Arrival, the State’s Christmas and New Year road safety campaign, started at 12.01am on Friday 15 December and will continue until 11.59pm on Monday 1 January 2018.

About 6 am (Monday 25 December 2017), a man was driving on Rankins Springs Road, Beelbangera, about 25km north of Griffith, when the vehicle left the road and hit a power pole. He died at the scene.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, Commander of the Traffic & Highway Patrol Command, said many seats were left empty at the Christmas table yesterday due to a total of 14 lives that have sadly been lost in the past 11 days.

“That is more than one person a day which is quite alarming. It is just not good enough.

“NSW residents need to take some responsibility and realise that all it takes is one distraction and you could lose your life or kill a family travelling on the roads this holiday period.

“It is a time to be merry and enjoy spending time with your family and unfortunately day after day, police are left to pick up the pieces and deliver horrific messages to families,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

There are more police on roads targeting drivers for dangerous behaviours that have led to loss of life on our roads, including; speeding, drink and drug-driving, mobile phone use, and not wearing seatbelts. Double demerits remain in force.

Seven people lost their lives in the same operation this time last year.

Some examples of inappropriate driver behaviour detected during Day 11 of Operation Safe Arrival include,

– Police received multiple reports of a Pantec truck driving erratically on the Princes Highway, north of Eden, about 10.20pm (Monday 25 December 2017). Officers attached to Far South Coast Local Area Command responded and found a 51-year-old man in a Pantec truck stopped on the side of the highway. The man returned a positive reading to a roadside breath test and was arrested. He was taken to Eden Police Station where he underwent a breath analysis and returned a reading of 0.267. The man was issued a Future Court Attendance Notice for high-range PCA. His license was suspended.

– About 8.50pm (Monday 25 December 2017), police attached to Hawkesbury Highway Patrol stopped a 19-year-old man after he was allegedly detected travelling at 117km/h in the signposted 60km/h on Springwood Road, Agnes Banks. Checks revealed the teen, from Katoomba, held a P1 riders licence. He was issued an infringement notice for exceed speed limit – over 45km/h and his licence was suspended.

– A 43-year-old P2 provisional driver was allegedly detected at 135km/h in a sign posted 90km/h area on the M4 motorway at Merrylands, about 8.35am (Monday 25 December 2017). He was issued an infringement notice for exceed speed over 30km/h and his licence was suspended.

Key statistics (Cumulative total):

Total infringements issued: 16,901

Speed infringements: 12,384

Breath tests: 395,382

Drink-driving charges: 710

Major crashes: 999

Lives lost: 13

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