One-day police blitz today

POLICE across NSW are focussing on key road safety risks in a one-day blitz that aims to hold road drivers accountable and drive down the state’s road toll.

During Wednesday’s operation, named Operation Compliance 3, officers from the Traffic & Highway Patrol Command will focus on drivers using mobile phones while driving, not wearing seat belts, and driving poorly maintained vehicles.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith of the state's Traffic & Highway Patrol Command said it was those drivers continuing to put themselves, their passengers and other road users at risk that will be the targeted throughout the day.

“Despite seat belts being compulsory since 1971, there are some drivers and their passengers that continue to run the risk of serious injury, or even death in a crash,” he said.

“Also, law changes in 2012 have made it legal for some drivers to operate mobile phones in an approved cradle, via bluetooth in the vehicle; however police still continue to see drivers with the phone up to their ear or looking down sending a text, not concentrating on the road.

“These issues, combined with vehicles that are defective, only add to the risks on our roads,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Smith said.

In the past financial year, police issued 21,672 infringements to drivers and passengers not wearing seat belts, 39,007 for drivers using mobile phones, and 25,175 for vehicle defects.

“Although the road toll is currently at 10 less than this time last year, it still sits at 230, which is a lot of people who haven’t made it home to their loved ones,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Smith said.

“This operation aims to bring about a change to driver behaviour by targeting these key road safety risks, and encouraging personal responsibility.”

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