Labour Day weekend saw the issuing of nearly 14,500 infringements across NSW as the Traffic and Highway Patrol encouraged drivers to be safe on the roads, according to the NSW Police Force.
Called 'Operation Slow Down', the project lasted from Friday morning September 29 through to the end of Monday October 2 and was designed to prevent motor vehicle accidents and save lives across the state. Over the course of the four days, drivers caught speeding, not wearing seatbelts, driving under the influence or using their phones received double demerit points on their licence.
Operation Slow Down wasn't as effective as hoped
Unfortunately, five people died on NSW roads over the three-day weekend, compared to only one person in 2016's operation. That brings the total number of car accident-related deaths in the state up to 290 this year, which is seven fewer than 2016's toll on the same date.
Nearly half of the infringements (over 6,000) were speed related, and there were 313 major car crashes over the course of the weekend. In addition, there were nearly 190,000 breath tests conducted, resulting in 215 charges of drink-driving. David Driver, acting assistant commissioner of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, was disheartened by the fact that so many drivers were speeding and driving recklessly despite Operation Slow Down.
"It seems that despite our warnings and extra police on the roads over the weekend, too many people still made the decision to speed or drive dangerously on our roads," he said.
The future safety of NSW roads
The heightened police presence over the weekend might not have been as effective as hoped, but that doesn't change the Traffic and Highway Patrol's ultimate goals. Mr Driver makes it abundantly clear that efforts to change drivers' behaviour and reduce motor vehicle accidents in NSW are not coming to a standstill.
"People just needed to make a different decision and to slow down, put their phone away, not drive whilst they were tired or take an alternate ride home," he explained. "Although this operation has concluded, you will continue to see police on our roads enforcing speeds, mobile phones, drink and drug-driving, and seatbelts, in order to prevent more loss of life."
Even if you're driving responsibly in NSW, there's a chance that you could become hurt in a motor vehicle crash. If you have suffered injuries in a car accident that was someone else's fault, you should contact a personal injury law firm such as Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers.