Once again, the annual Christmas-New Years road safety campaign has seen a significant number of motorists charged with various traffic offences.
Dubbed ‘Operation Safe Arrival,’ the two-week long double demerit period, which began at midnight on the 19th of December 2014 and concluded on the 4th of January 2015, saw NSW Police nab 1273 people for drink driving – up from last year’s statistics of 1209.
The rise in numbers also extended to other traffic offences- with 14,422 people being caught speeding compared to 11,544 during the same period last year. This is despite this year’s double demerits period lasting 17 days, compared to only 15 days last year.
A total 1881 people were caught not wearing seatbelts, up 427 from last year.
Tragically, a total of 29 people lost their lives in car accidents during the same period.
Notable Incidents from Operation Safe Arrival
While most motorists were hyper-vigilant in keeping safe over the holiday period, the increased police presence did not deter some from taking risks.
On January 3, three motorists around Sydney were caught exceeding the speed limit by more than 45 km/h.
They had their licences suspended and were fined a whopping $2400.
On January 2, a 25-year-old woman was arrested after a police pursuit which began when the woman attempted to evade an RBT.
A young child was found in the back of the car and the woman was charged with several driving offences including ‘Skye’s law’ (police pursuit).
On December 21, a 57-year-old woman was tragically killed after a hatchback and four-wheel drive collided at Prestons.
The driver of the four-wheel drive allegedly fled the scene, but was located a short time later and charged with a multitude of offences, including dangerous driving occasioning death, fail to stop and assist after vehicle collision occasioning death, and negligent driving occasioning death.
Police Target Drink Driving
If you were on the roads this holiday period, you may have come across the familiar sight of brightly marked highway patrol cars conducting roadside random breath tests.
Police lifted their game this year, conducting a total of 830,670 random breath tests – a whopping 259,006 more than last year.
The increase saw a total of 1273 people charged with drink driving over the holiday period.
Drink driving is one of the most commonly prosecuted criminal offences in our courts – in fact, in 2010, mid-range PCA (drink driving) was the number one most common offence sentenced in the Local Court.
Low and high range drink driving also made the top 10.
Getting caught drink driving can have a negative impact on your life and future, resulting in a loss of licence which can affect your ability to work, travel and carry out daily tasks.
However, if you were charged with a traffic offence during Operation Safe Arrival, you might benefit from a free first appointment with one of our experienced traffic lawyers.
Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone does things that they regret. But this should not necessarily have to ruin your good character and ability to hold your job.
Our lawyers can guide you to do what’s necessary to achieve the optimal result – including undertaking a ‘traffic offender program’ where appropriate, and obtaining character references and a letter of apology.
Our experienced courtroom lawyers are familiar with Magistrates in a range of NSW courts, and will present your case in the most favourable light to give you the greatest chance of success.
Alternatively, if you are thinking about representing yourself in a drink driving matter, be sure to have a read of our ‘Top Ten Tips for Representing Yourself When Pleading Guilty to Drink Driving.’
As always, our knowledgeable traffic lawyers are here to help and answer any questions that you may have about your traffic charge – so be sure to give us a call on (02) 9261 8881 if you need assistance!