Road deaths, arrests as NSW safety crackdown continues

Police are urging motorists to drive safely and responsibly after the second day of their major state-wide road safety campaign.

They reported there had been two fatal accidents and 146 major crashes around NSW by day two of Operation Tortoise. A man, 27, died after a two-car collision in Clarence Town in the Hunter region. Another man died after his vehicle hit a tree near Albury. Both deaths were on Thursday night.

Police said by Saturday several motorists had been arrested for high-range drink-driving offences in the Operation Tortoise crackdown.  

In the Orana region, police are aiming to drive the road toll toward zero. They have warned motorists to slow down, drive to conditions, take regular breaks and be responsible behind the wheel during the long weekend traffic operation. 

Up to April 14 this year, 10 people had died in accidents across the Western region, two of which occurred in Orana. They contribute to the total 91 lives lost in NSW this year. 

Police said there were some significant incidents in Western NSW from Operation Tortoise:

Wilcannia: A 30-year-old woman, who is already disqualified from driving until 2027, was stopped by police in Wilcannia and submitted to a roadside breath test. She later returned a breath analysis reading of 0.206 and will be issued with a future court attendance notice.

Lightning Ridge: A 32-year-old man was stopped at Lightning Ridge and returned a positive roadside test. Checks on his licence revealed he is suspended from driving until 2028.

Mudgee: Police from Mudgee Highway Patrol were conducting stationary speed enforcement about 8.20pm on Friday on Castlereagh Highway, Appletree Flat, when they detected a 38-year-old man travelling at 153km/h in a 100km/h zone. He was fined and had his licence suspended.

Parkes: A 41-year-old man was stopped by police on Thursday on the Newell Highway. He was subjected to a roadside breath test and allegedly returned a positive reading. He was arrested and taken to Parkes Police Station where he underwent a breath analysis returning a reading of 0.135. He was subsequently charged with mid-range PCA. His licence was also suspended. He will appear in Parkes Local Court on May 1.

Police said by the end of day two of Operation Tortoise they had conducted 89,686 breath tests and laid 61 PCA charges. There had been 3125 speed infringements.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, said that despite numerous warnings from police, some motorists still choose to do the wrong thing.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing motorists take unnecessary risks on the road,” he said.

“Drivers must remember the serious responsibility they have to ensure their own safety, that of their passengers and other motorists every time they get behind the wheel.

“We expect there to be continued significant traffic across our roads over the long weekend and we simply ask that motorists drive responsibly and safely.”