In Law & Order

Armidale Man In Hot Pursuit

Assistant Commissioner John Hartley

Traffic Services Branch

NSW Road Toll Remains At 13 After Day 9 Of OPERATION SAFE ARRIVAL

The NSW road toll remains at 13 following a fatality-free Boxing Day, however, repeated Police messages for motorists to obey road rules are still not getting through to many drivers.

An Armidale man led Police on a pursuit, exceeded the speed limit and rammed a Police vehicle in the State’s West early this morning.

About 2.30 am Police were driving in Edward Street, Barraba, following a report of a vehicle driving erratically in the area. At the intersection of West Street, Police saw a Ford Falcon station wagon and activated their lights and sirens for the car to stop.

At this point the vehicle sped away and a pursuit ensued. The Ford allegedly sped through stop signed intersections and was well in excess of the speed limit.

After about 10 km the Ford turned into a paddock, made a U-turn and drove at the pursuing Police vehicle before ramming into it. The Ford spun before again striking the Police vehicle.

The Ford then drove towards Barraba at high speed before making another U-turn and again charging at the pursuing Police vehicle, which managed to avoid a collision.

The pursuit was terminated at Rodney Street when Police lost sight of the Ford.

Shortly before 4 am the Ford was seen travelling South in Queen Street with its lights off. As it approached Rodney Street Police deployed road spikes, which stopped the vehicle.

The driver and sole occupant, a 27-year-old Armidale man, was arrested and taken to Tamworth Police Station where he underwent a breath analysis and allegedly returned a reading of 0.180.

Enquiries made on the man’s driving record showed he was disqualified from driving a motor vehicle or holding a licence until February 2010.

He was charged with 12 offences including:

  • Four counts of driving recklessly or in a manner dangerous,
  • Two counts each of driving menacingly
  • Two counts using an offensive weapon to avoid apprehension,
  • One count each of high range PCA,
  • One count of driving whilst disqualified,
  • One count of not complying with Police direction
  • One count of taking and driving a conveyance without the consent of the owner.

The man was refused bail and was due to appear at Tamworth Local Court today.

Police have continued targeting dangerous driving on the State’s roads, conducting:

  • More than 237,000 breath tests on the first nine days of the operation;
  • 662 people have been charged with drink driving, down 388 over the same period last year.
  • Police have issued 9,615 speeding infringements in the first nine days, up 948 over the same period last year.

There were 750 drivers caught speeding on day nine, compared to 876 on Christmas Day last year.

Traffic Services Commander, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, is reminding motorists to slow down and stay out of the driver’s seat if drinking.

“Far too many drivers still have a blatant disregard for the law and for human life. Almost 10,000 motorists have been caught speeding in the first nine days of the operation.”

“There have also been 662 people caught drink driving, which is down on last year but is still far too many. When you drink and get behind the wheel you put your life and the lives of others at risk, it’s that simple.” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.

Examples of dangerous driver behaviour from Boxing Day include:

  • At about 6.25 am a 49-year-old woman was the driver of a Toyota Hilux Utility on Mulgoa Road, Penrith, when she was stopped for a mobile random breath test, which returned a negative result. She was unable to produce a licence and checks found she was disqualified from driving until 2011. Checks also found that the registration of the vehicle had expired in 2008. The woman was issued with court attendance notices for being a disqualified driver, driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle and being directed not to drive a vehicle. About 7.20 am the same day, another officer sighted the vehicle in Castlereagh Road, Penrith. The vehicle was stopped and the driver arrested. She was returned to Penrith Police Station where she was charged with being a disqualified driver and driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle. The woman was refused bail and appeared at Parramatta Local Court yesterday (26 December).
  • Shortly before 3 pm Police were conducting stationary speed enforcement on the Pacific Highway at Herons Creek, on the Mid North Coast, when they observed a Toyota Aurion travelling well in excess of the sign posted 110 km/h speed limit. Police checked the speed of the vehicle at 176 km/h. The Toyota was stopped and the driver, a 25-year-old Ultimo man, produced a current driver’s licence from Delhi, India, and indicated that he is in Australia on a study visa. He was issued with an infringement notice for exceeding the speed limit more than 45 km/h. His authority given to visiting drivers in New South Wales has been suspended.
  • At about 12.30 am today (Sunday 27 December) a 22-year-old local man was stopped on Five Islands Road at Cringila for a mobile random breath test. As a result of the traffic stop his vehicle was searched and 875 ecstasy tablets were allegedly located. Also allegedly located was an indictable quantity of crystal methamphetamine, a replica pistol, a knife and an amount of cash. The driver was arrested and taken to Port Kembla Police Station where he was charged with supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, supply an indictable quantity of a prohibited drug, possessing an unauthorised prohibited firearm and driving whilst disqualified (disqualified until 2015). The man was refused bail and will appear at Wollongong Bail Court today.
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