A MASSIVE spike in road deaths on the Coffs Coast has sparked an urgent police response with a three-week blitz now in force.
So far this year the Coffs/Clarence and Mid North Coast local area commands combined have recorded 12 fatalities compared to zero for the same time last year. These two police areas had a total of 31 fatalities last year.
Police are at a loss to explain the local increase but they have summoned officers from Tweed/Byron, Richmond, Hunter Valley, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and other parts of the northern region to support local officers in Operation Cross.
The campaign runs until the end of the month in the lead-up to Easter and will target the ‘fatal four’ – speeding, fatigue, the non-wearing of seatbelts and drink/drug driving.
They will also target the use of hand-held mobile phones by drivers.
“Lots more people seem to be dying locally and that’s a grave concern,” said northern region traffic co-ordinator Senior Sergeant Bill Darnell.
“At short notice we’ve pulled together resources from the northern part of the State for this large traffic operation.”
As many as 12 police will be on our roads at any one time during the blitz and they will be targeting known black spots.
You can expect to see plenty of officers on the Pacific Highway (which accounts for three of those 12 deaths), Orara Way, Waterfall Way, Summerland Way and the Oxley Highway in particular.
“We are not interested in excuses when it comes to ensuring the safety of all road users,” Snr Sgt Darnell said.
“Our region has the highest number of fatalities in the State. Drivers have got to realise it can happen to them, not some other driver.
“Don’t become a statistic, drive for not only yourself but for all road users and drive to survive.”
The next campaign will be Operation Tortoise during the Easter school holidays.