Assistant Commissioner John Hartley
Traffic Services Commander
Traffic Commander Furious At Latest Examples Of Wild, Drink Driving On NSW Roads
Commander of Traffic Services, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, has expressed his outrage at the latest examples of reckless, drunken behaviour by young drivers on NSW roads over the past 48 hours.
Just before midnight on Saturday 16 January, Police clocked a red Holden Commodore at more than 150 km/h in an 80 zone, as it travelled East on Southern Cross Drive at Mascot. Veering across lanes, the sedan allegedly overtook 17 other vehicles at high speed. With lights and sirens activated, Police followed the car into the Eastern Distributor to the intersection of South Dowling and Charles Streets, Surry Hills, where it mounted a gutter and came to a stop. Police allege several occupants ran from the vehicle after it rolled into the blocking Police car. One teenager was arrested in the car, whilst the driver, a 19-year-old man from Picton, was allegedly caught trying to climb a nearby fence. He was taken to the Surry Hills Police Station where he collapsed due to serious intoxication. He was then taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital where initial blood tests, two hours later, allegedly revealed a blood-alcohol reading of 0.2. Officers allegedly recovered several cans of mixed spirits, apparently consumed after a 21st birthday party in Picton. Investigations are continuing and Police will interview the driver once he has been released from hospital.
Around 11.30 am yesterday (Sunday 17 January), Police were called to investigate reports of a car doing “burnouts” in a skate park at Cabarita on the State’s Far North Coast. When officers arrived, they allegedly found the Nissan Pulsar parked inside the skate ramp area, just two metres from a group of young skateboarders. The 28-year-old driver allegedly told Police he had driven to the Tweed coast from Beenleigh in Queensland after a 13-and-a-half hour drinking session, in which he had consumed 20 “bourbon and cokes” and a bottle of bourbon. He allegedly returned a blood-alcohol reading of 0.175. Officers found a 14-year-old boy in the passenger seat. His parents had entrusted him to the care of the driver for an interstate skating and surfing trip. The driver’s licence was immediately suspended and he was issued with a Field Court Attendance Notice for high range drink driving.
Police were conducting speed checks on the Pacific Highway at Sleepy Hollow, on the State’s Far North Coast, around 2.15 pm yesterday when they registered a vehicle travelling at 181 km/h in a 110 zone. Officers stopped the grey Porsche Cayenne GTS Turbo 4×4 station wagon about four kilometres away. A check revealed the 21-year-old Queensland driver only received his unrestricted licence five months ago. His licence was suspended and an infringement notice issued.
Around 1.15 am yesterday, Highway Patrol officers spotted a white Holden Commodore travelling at high speed north along the F3 at Kiar, on the State’s Central Coast. Police followed after clocking the car at 143 km/h. The officers saw the sedan swerving within its lane and pulled it over a short time later. The 21-year-old P2 driver from Hillsdale was taken to the Wyong Police Station where she allegedly returned a blood-alcohol reading of .14. The woman’s licence was immediately suspended and she was booked for mid range PCA.
“It is difficult to believe drivers could act so recklessly given the terrible loss of life on Australian roads in recent weeks.” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.
“Only hours before these episodes, we had two people killed in a head-on crash at East Lynne in NSW.”
“If Police had not detected these drivers when they did, there is a strong chance more people would have been hurt or killed.”Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.
“There has been such a public focus on the terrible road toll over summer, I can’t see how these drivers and others like them, could have missed the messages…slow down, avoid alcohol, buckle up and drive attentively.”
“OPERATION SAFE RETURN will be conducted over the Australia Day long weekend and double demerits apply, I’m praying no other lives will be put at risk.” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.