Zero tolerance over holidays

THE shocking road toll in Coffs/Clarence has made police even more determined to catch troublemakers this Christmas.

They’re adopting a zero tolerance to speeding, fatigue, drink-driving and the non-wearing of seatbelts as they embark on Operation Safe Arrival from Thursday to January 7.

This command is the worst in the State for road deaths so far in 2010, with 26 deaths from 23 fatal crashes.

We also have the highest number of alcohol-related crashes in NSW, and Coffs Harbour is one of the top cities for detecting drink-drivers.

“Traffic volumes will be high during the Christmas/New Year period so we’re urging people to be patient, particularly in the roadworks area north of Coffs Harbour,” said Sergeant Brett Jackson from Coffs Harbour highway patrol.

“We will be out in force and we will show no leniency towards lawbreakers.

“It’s our busiest time of the year and we will have visiting police from Sydney. As many as 18 will be based here to support local police and they will operate from the Queensland border to Taree. A leave embargo is now in place so all officers will be on deck.”

Double demerits will be in force for all speeding and seatbelt offences from Christmas Eve to January 3.

Those caught for serious offences face licence suspension and even jail time.

Speeding, fatigue and drink-driving remain the biggest killers on our roads. Other offences being targeted by police include mobile phone use and drug-driving.

Major bottlenecks are expected in and around Coffs Harbour during this peak time.

“Heavy traffic and delays are expected on the region’s major thoroughfares particularly on the Pacific Highway at Bulahdelah, Port Macquarie and Kempsey as tens of thousands of people travel to and from popular tourist spots,” said northern region traffic co-ordinator, Sen. Sgt Bill Darnell.

“We’re asking all motorists to be considerate of other drivers, exercise care and patience and factor in extra travel time as they use roads throughout our region this holiday period.”



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