Despite several warnings and a campaign aimed to curb the number of dangerous speeders on the roads throughout the long Australia Day weekend, the New South Wales Police Force still saw a jump in the number of tickets it issued.
Over the three-day weekend, police issued 3,445 speeding infringement notices, marking a 37 per cent increase over the same holiday period last year. This came in the face of a major push leading up to the weekend to encourage drivers to slow down to mitigate the risk of car accident injuries.
Operation Safe Return, as it was called, ran from January 24 through the 27, and during this time all demerits were doubled.
Last year, police members who were a part of the operation issued 2,502 traffic infringement notices.
"The vast majority of drivers shared NSW roads safely and responsibly during the long weekend, but it is disappointing that thousands of others ignored our warnings to stay within the speed limit," Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith said.
Reports show three people were killed after sustaining serious car accident injuries over the weekend, which raises this year's road death toll to 31.
Road conditions a "great concern" to police
Mr Smith stated that the death toll rate averages out to about one fatal car accident per day – a number that is "of great concern to police".
"Road trauma exacts a tragic cost to everyone involved, from the families who must grieve a loved one, to the police who attended the crash, and the communities who have lost one of their own," he said.
Mr Smith added that although Operation Safe Return has officially ended, the NSW Police Force plans to remain vigilant in lowering the state's road death toll.
In the four days over the holiday, 175 people suffered car accident injuries in 508 serious crashes. This number was down from the 219 injuries reported last year, and much lower than the 765 reported car accidents.
As a testament to keeping the roads as safe as possible, police performed an astounding 203,581 breath tests over the weekend, resulting in 279 drink-driving tickets. This was also down from last year by 131 charges.
Those who have been injured in a car accident in NSW may want to get in touch with compensation lawyers to learn what legal action can be taken.