Retirees a couple of highway heroes
By CRAIG McTEAR
JAN and Peter Hawke were a godsend to weary motorists travelling on the Pacific Highway on Easter Monday.
They had warm smiles and a hot cuppa waiting for the steady stream of people using the Woolgoolga Lions Club Driver Reviver stop.
The retired Safety Beach couple began volunteering their services to Driver Reviver during the busy Christmas/New Year period, and were only too happy to give some of their time again yesterday.
"It's a fantastic idea and we're prepared to help whenever we can," Jan said.
"We welcome people and we offer them tea, coffee, cordial, Milo and biscuits."
Jan and Peter often find themselves giving travellers advice on some of the best spots locally to check out, as well as how long they should expect their trip to take.
"A lot of tourists we meet from overseas, particularly Europe, have no idea about how long it takes to get to where they're going. They don't realise how big Australia is," Peter said.
Sydney couple Ben Connors and Trish Blazey stopped in for a cup of coffee yesterday morning as they made their way home from holidays on the Far North Coast.
It was their first stop after leaving Ballina and they were planning further breathers.
"I've driven from Brisbane to Sydney in the one hit before and I swore I'd never do it again. It's not safe," Trish said.
"We won't drive for more than two hours at a time."
n Senior Constable Rod Peters from Coffs Harbour highway patrol reported large traffic volumes during the holiday weekend.
"It's been constant every day," he said.
At 10.53am yesterday, he fined a 24-year-old Coffs Harbour man $575 for allegedly travelling at 100km/h in a 60km/h zone on Hogbin Drive North.
The man also lost his licence for three months.
Police charged another man twice yesterday with driving while disqualified on the Pacific Highway in Coffs Harbour.
"There's also been a few P-platers detected speeding, which is disappointing, considering the warnings on double demerits," Const. Peters said.
The Easter long weekend road blitz, Operation Tortoise, ended at midnight last night.
As of yesterday afternoon, Coffs/Clarence police had charged 17 motorists with drink-driving from 1091 breath tests. They also detected 217 speedsters, six seatbelt offences, issued 69 traffic infringement notices and laid 28 other traffic charges.
The NSW holiday road toll had risen to seven by yesterday afternoon.
Police statewide had detected 8453 speedsters and charged almost 500 motorists with drink-driving from 156,000 breath tests.
Operation North Roads continues until the end of the school holidays.