People who get behind the wheel over the limit were the latest targets in a NSW Police road safety initiative that concluded this weekend.
Operation Drink Drive aimed to lower the number of crashes occurring in the state in an effort to minimise car accident injuries and deaths. The scheme ran from Thursday February 19 to Saturday February 21, with the administration of 67,686 breath tests on the first day.
NSW Police described the opening 24 hours as a success, as only 20 people who were stopped failed the breathalyser. This was a significant reduction on the 103 drivers caught over the limit during the same enforcement operation in 2014, when 77,983 people received tests.
The scheme also targeted other driving-related offences, including speeding, fatigue, drug-affected motorists and people not wearing seatbelts.
According to NSW Police, 508 individuals were issued speeding infringement notices on the first day, which was higher than the 388 drivers warned during the same operation in 2014. The number of offences for other driving-related law breaches also increased from 1,574 to 1,731.
However, the number of major accidents was nearly half last year’s figures – 79 compared with 169. Furthermore, only 36 people suffered injuries, lower than the 43 previously reported.
On the second day of the operation, 70,000 breath tests were administered, with 32 people caught over the limit. This was in addition to 82 major crashes and 30 car accident injuries.
Drink driving operation ‘a success’
While the outcomes for some driving offences were higher than last year, NSW Police said the drink driving results were impressive.
Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley commented that officers have been carrying out breath tests across the state, and warned motorists they could be stopped at any time while out on the roads.
“It is pleasing to see that the majority of motorists got the message yesterday that we would be out there, with only 20 motorists detected over the limit,” he explained.
“Now is not the time to become complacent with the operation continuing over the next two days, police can breath test drivers at any time while behind the wheel.”
Mr Hartley added that the police force is dedicated to lowering the number of casualties that occur on the state’s roads this year. He said officers will be working hard to let drivers know not to take “unnecessary risks” while behind the wheel.