Accidents mark start of holidays
POLICE are urging motorists to take care after three incidents on Coffs Coast roads on the eve of the school holidays.
The warning comes after Coffs Clarence officers responded to two accidents and a high-speed highway pursuit.
A motorcyclist walked away from an accident on the Pacific Hwy north of Coffs Harbour yesterday morning.
The 60-year-old was involved in a low-speed crash at Sapphire, which saw him fall heavily onto the roadway.
Emergency services were called to the scene near the intersection of Headland Rd yesterday at 9.56am.
A NSW Ambulance spokesperson said paramedics treated the man for gravel rash and soreness to his hip and arm, but he declined transportation to hospital.
Emergency services were also called to a motor vehicle accident, involving a learner driver, at Dirty Creek Range earlier yesterday.
Police said the L-plater lost control of the hatchback on Range Rd and crashed head-on into a power pole.
The accident near the Pacific Highway intersection happened just after 6am.
Paramedics said the instructing driver lost consciousness briefly after the impact and was taken to Coffs Harbour Base Hospital suffering neck injuries.
Coffs Harbour police were yesterday bracing for huge traffic volumes during the school holidays, starting this afternoon.
Operation Slowdown is now in force and will run until October 9. It will incorporate the traditionally hectic October long weekend when double demerits will apply.
Officers say they won't tolerate alcohol-related stupidity on our roads and will also target speeding, seatbelt offences and fatigue.
"All available highway patrol staff will be on duty during this time," said Coffs Harbour highway patrol acting Sergeant Tony Saunders.
"We are trying to get people to be vigilant and to take it easy when they are travelling.
"Traffic will obviously be on the increase up and down the highway and we need drivers to be particularly mindful of the roadworks north and south of Coffs Harbour."
Sgt Saunders said motorists should plan their trips and drive to the conditions.
"Allow enough time to get to your destination safely and take regular breaks.
"In Coffs/Clarence our serious injury collisions have seen a downward trend this year but we don't want people to become complacent."
Of most concern to police has been two car chases, which endangered motorists on the Mid North Coast on Thursday.
On Wednesday about 8.05pm, Manning/Great Lakes Highway Patrol were conducting speed enforcement duties on the Pacific Highway at Moorland when they allegedly detected a utility travelling at excessive speed.
A northbound red Ford Falcon XR8 ute was allegedly detected travelling at 130kmh in the 100kmh zone.
Highway Patrol officers followed the ute and attempted to stop it, but the driver failed to stop.
Police will allege the vehicle accelerated away at speed and overtook a number of other vehicles during the incident before the pursuit was terminated when the car reached excessive speeds.
Then about 10:10pm officers attached to Coffs Harbour Highway Patrol were patrolling the Pacific Highway at Halfway Creek when they sighted the ute.
The vehicle was followed and the driver failed to stop.
The pursuit was subsequently terminated in South Grafton for safety reasons.
Police said officers located the ute stopped on the forecourt of a petrol station at Shark Creek.
Investigations revealed the vehicle had a cancelled registration and was not displaying any number plates.
A 29-year-old man was arrested at the scene and taken to Grafton Police Station where he was charged with breach of bail. He was refused bail and appeared in Grafton Local Court.
Police have seized the ute for forensic examination.
Investigations are continuing to establish the identity of the driver.