MORE motorists have been caught speeding in the Orana Mid Western district than in any other region in the Central West so far this festive period.
The NSW Police Force’s Christmas/new year road safety operation commenced on December 21 and runs until 11.59pm on Tuesday, January 1, 2019.
During Operation Safe Arrival, police are targeting motorists doing the wrong thing on the road and double demerit points are in place for speeding, seatbelt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences.
While Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Inspector Ben Macfarlane praised most motorists for driving to the law, many have still been caught doing the wrong thing.
In Western NSW, 850 motorists have been caught speeding since Operation Safe Arrival commenced 10 days ago – this is the equivalent of 85 motorists every single day.
Across the Central West, most were caught in the Orana Mid Western Police District (167 infringements issued), followed by Chifley (148), Central West (58) and Central North (33).
The number of drink drivers is way down so that tells me people are doing the right thing in general.Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Inspector Ben Macfarlane
Police also issued 64 infringements for drivers or passengers who were not wearing a seatbelt, with the most in Chifley (23), followed by Orana Mid Western (14), Central North (four) and Central West (one).
In addition, a further 764 infringements were issued to Western NSW motorists for a range of offences (other than speeding).
Of these, Chifley Police District recorded (200), followed by Orana Mid Western (122), Central North (56) and Central West (24).
Insp Macfarlane said drink driving had been a major focus for general duty and highway patrol officers across Western NSW this festive period.
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As of midnight on Sunday, 32,373 breath test had been conducted, of these Orana Mid Western recorded (7053), Chifley (6235), Central West (3532) and Central North (2239).
From those tests, 27 motorists in the Central West were caught over the limit, including nine in Chifley and the Orana Mid Western police districts, five in the Central North and four in the Central West.
While there might have been more police on the roads and more breath tests conducted than in previous years, less motorists were caught over the limit.
So far this festive period 33 motorists had been caught over the limit in the whole of Western NSW, this is down from 77 during the same period last year.
The number of major crashes in Western NSW has also dropped this festive period – from 81 to 56.
Insp Macfarlane said so far it had been a very successful operation by NSW Police with infringement notices and fatalities down compared to 2017.
“The number of drink drivers is way down so that tells me people are doing the right thing in general,” he said.
“We’d just like to thank them for their attention to driving and complying to the road rules, It’s meant less impact on emergency services.”
Insp Macfarlane said that while the state’s new drink driving laws were only introduced recently, they were having an impact on driver behaviour.
“People are understanding now that you’ll often be over the limit in the morning if you’ve had a big night you can’t expect to drive a car the next day,” he said.
With many people planning their New Year’s Eve celebrations, Insp Macfarlane urged people not to drink drive.
“Have a Plan B. Just leave the car in town or at home, if you want to have a few drinks and enjoy yourself that’s great, but just don’t get in the car,” he said.
“We accept that there are limited transport options in the region, but it’s not a reason to drink drive.”