Operation Go Slow: Motorists mostly well-behaved in Oxley, New England and Barwon Commands during long weekend roads blitz

Emergency : The Westpac Helicopter at Glencoe on Saturday. Photo: WRHS
Emergency : The Westpac Helicopter at Glencoe on Saturday. Photo: WRHS

THE number of drivers breath tested during the long weekend road blitz more than doubled this year but the number detected drink driving fell.

Operation Go Slow wrapped up at midnight on Monday but several drivers will feel the effects for months to come after they lost their licences in the double demerits operation.

Investigators are examining whether fatigue caused a rollover on Saturday morning that saw three seriously injured, while eight were taken to hospital on Monday.

In total, five crashes were recorded across the Barwon, Oxley and New England commands, with 16 tickets for seatbelts given out.

Police conducted 6,366 RBTs – doubling last year’s numbers. Across the region, seven people tested positive to methamphetamine in lick stick tests during the four-day blitz and the same amount were charged with drink driving. A 35-year-old woman allegedly blew .181 in Armidale after she was stopped by police, but the number of PCAs was down from 12 last year.

The number of speeding drivers dropped from 227 last year to 220 this year, while 197 infringements for offences such as unlicensed driving, crossing double lines and using a mobile was up on last year’s figure of 120.

“The majority of people are doing the right thing but it only takes one,” Senior Sergeant Brett Davies said.

“The proactive numbers have increased, so police are stopping and talking to more motorists to try and prevent fatigue, speeding and other offences.

“But simple mistakes can lead to very traumatic incidents occurring.”

During the blitz, a 21-year-old P-plater was nabbed at 154km/h in a 100 zone on the New England Highway at Kentucky while an 18-year-old P-plater was detected at 143km on the same road, near Goonoo Goonoo Station.

A 51-year-old also lost his licence on the spot after he was detected at 56km per hour over the 100 speed limit near Wallabadah.

In Tamworth, an 18-year-old motorcyclist will front court for allegedly driving at more than 30km over the speed limit, bald tyres, overtaking on the inside lane and special range PCA.

The majority of people are doing the right thing but it only takes one.

Western Region Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Brett Davies