Worst record in NSW for fatalities

WE’RE not even halfway through the year but Coffs/Clarence is already the worst police command in the State for road fatalities.

As many as 16 people have been killed in 13 accidents in our region so far this year.

The grim statistics blew out dramatically with the deaths of three people on the Coffs Coast in weekend accidents (see page five for more details).

Our command recorded five fatalities for the same period last year.

“These accidents don’t appear to be linked in any way so it’s very hard to determine a pattern to them and there is no particular suburb which is presenting as a problem,” said Coffs Harbour police traffic duty officer Sergeant Dave Vandergriend.

“This makes our job of addressing them that more difficult.

“We are looking at media campaigns and liaising with the RTA to implement more effective, localised advertising campaigns.

“This would include the RTA message boards on the Pacific Highway and other arterial roads.”

Mr Vandergriend said it was mostly locals who were involved in these fatal accidents and they needed to be more aware of the road conditions.

Another disturbing trend is the vast volume of motorists still choosing to drink and drive in our city.

Sgt Vandergriend said Coffs Harbour still had the highest number of people charged with drink-driving (prescribed concentration of alcohol) offences in NSW. Police will try to address that during Operation Coffs Roads which starts tomorrow night.

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