Assistant Commissioner John Hartley
Traffic Services Commander
“Don’t Wreck A Car And Wreck Your Life” – OPERATION SAFE RETURN 2010
The annual Australia Day long weekend road safety campaign will be launched today (Thursday 21 January 2010) amid the wreckage of vehicles involved in fatal and serious injury collisions.
OPERATION SAFE RETURN will start at 0001 hrs on Saturday (23 January 2010) and conclude at 2359 hrs on Tuesday (26 January 2010).
Highway Patrol and other operational Police attached to all local area commands in New South Wales will be monitoring driver behaviour, with double demerit points applying to all speed, occupant restraint, and helmet offences detected during the four-day period.
Traffic Services Commander, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, is pleading with drivers to act responsibly over the holiday weekend.
“We are launching OPERATION SAFE RETURN 2010 surrounded by the wreckage of vehicles which have been involved in fatal and serious injury collisions, to highlight how irresponsible driver behaviour can wreck innocent lives.” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.
“Speeding, drink-driving, and driver fatigue are known factors which increase the chance of a collision, and can result in drivers and their passengers sustaining fatal or serious injuries.”
Snr Sgt Peter Jenkins from the Metropolitan Crash Investigation Unit says the repercussions of a collision are far-reaching.
“A fatal or serious injury crash not only has tragic consequences for those travelling in the vehicle, it is also devastating for their family, friends, and the emergency workers who attend the scene.” Snr Sgt Jenkins said.
“Imagine for a moment, being the survivor of a fatal crash and seeing the body of a mate or family member trapped in the twisted wreckage of the car you’d been travelling in only minutes earlier.”
“Imagine living with the knowledge that because you drove while drunk, or exceeded the speed limit, or lost control of your vehicle while talking on a mobile phone, you are responsible for killing or maiming a loved one, or another innocent human being. That’s something that you will have to carry with you for the rest of your life”
“Imagine the effect on Police and other emergency workers who are confronted by the death and destruction of a crash scene which has been the result of your irresponsible driving behaviour.”
“Slow down, don’t drink-drive, wear your seat-belt, and take regular rest breaks – following these simple rules can help prevent and reduce collisions that wreck lives and motor vehicles.” Snr Sgt Jenkins said.
Traffic Services Commander, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, said there were three deaths on NSW roads during the 2009 Australia Day weekend.
“Our aim over this long weekend is for the state’s roads to remain fatality-free.” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.
“But we need the co-operation and assistance of road-users to achieve our goal and also reduce the trauma associated with collisions.”
“Be responsible – don’t wreck someone’s life, or your own – during the Australia Day holiday period.”
Safe driving and travelling tips include:
- Obey speed limits and drive to the road conditions;
- If you are going to drink, leave your keys at home and organise a ride;
- Don’t tailgate, especially in wet or rainy conditions leave a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front;
- Don’t talk or text on a mobile phone while driving;
- Wear your seat-belt and ensure everyone else in the vehicle is also ‘buckled up’;
- If you are stuck in holiday traffic, remain patient;
- Don’t try to make up for lost time by exceeding the speed limit it’s better to arrive at your destination late, rather than not at all.
- Make sure you are well-rested before beginning your road trip;
- At the first sign of fatigue, pull over (where safe and legal) and have a break;
- Look out for driver-reviver stations and take advantage of their facilities.