NSW Police have decided to extend Operation Saturation for a further two weeks in response to the impressive decline in car accident injuries.
After the launch of the initiation on February 23, NSW roads have seen just 1,211 major crashes, down from 1,364 in the same period last year. This decline of 153 accidents represents the prevention of a significant number of injuries and fatalities.
In addition, over the past month local police have prosecuted 1,352 for drink-driving offences, 15,120 for speeding, 2,609 for using mobile phones and 1,549 for driving without a seatbelt.
“Whilst the operation was due to finish on [March 23], the results we have achieved so far provide a significant opportunity to continue to impact driver behaviour leading into the Easter period,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith said in a March 25 NSW Police media release.
Operation Saturation – a joint initiative between NSW Police and the Centre for Road Safety – will now be extended through to Easter weekend, when a new campaign – Operation Tortoise – will be launched.
The current initiative involves an increased police presence on NSW streets in an effort to reduce the risk of car accident injury and fatality on local roads.
“Traffic and highway patrol officers have targeted speeding drivers, supported by general duty police who conducted random breath testing, seat belt and mobile phone compliance operations,” Mr Smith explained.
“We know speeding is a major contributing factor in about 34 per cent of Australian road deaths and 13 per cent of serious injuries, however we still see people risking their lives.”
in 2012, 146 people were killed in a speed-related crash on NSW roads. With almost 3,800 individuals suffering car accident injuries in the same year, it is simple to see why the NSW Police are urgently trying to address this troubling trend.
Additionally, driving while intoxicated and failing to use a seatbelt killed 56 and 31 people, respectively.
Mr Smith warns NSW drivers that if they continue to engage in these “risky driving behaviours”, they should expect continued police presence and intensive attention.
“Whilst it was no doubt an unpleasant experience for those drivers to be prosecuted, fortunately for them they have been able to go home rather than become another statistic,” he said.