30 January 2024

Riverina roads stay fatality-free, but drug and alcohol offences disappoint police over Australia Day weekend

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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senior officer in front of police station

Riverina Police District Traffic and Highway Patrol Inspector Darren Moulds is pleased there were no fatalities on Riverina roads during the long-weekend operation. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

While there were no fatalities on Riverina roads over the long weekend, Riverina police were disappointed about the number of drivers caught under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

“The pleasing part of the Australia Day operation weekend was that there were no fatalities in the Riverina,” said Riverina Police District Traffic and Highway Patrol Inspector Darren Moulds.

“Overall, the behaviour of most motorists was very good … it was consistent with previous years.”

Riverina police conducted 2500 breath tests and 151 drug tests over the statewide Operation Australia Day 2024 from 25 January until 11:59 pm on 28 January.

“Disappointingly, there were five positive breath tests and 19 positive drug [methamphetamine, cannabis and cocaine] tests,” Insp Moulds said.

“There were also 300 infringement notices issued over the operation period, of which 125 were for speeding offences.

“It’s a small minority that fails to comply with the road rules and disregards the safety of other road users.”

READ ALSO Australia Day celebrations marred by ski boat collision on Murrumbidgee

Insp Moulds said the Highway Patrol officers would continue to target drink- and drug-driving through testing on stationary and mobile units.

“We will be out, not just over the long weekends. We’re out 24/7,” he said.

“Apart from speeding, drinking or drug-driving is also a major causal factor in fatal injury collisions.”

NSW Police are urging the community to think of others on the road after a significant number of dangerous driving incidents across the state during the Australia Day long weekend and summer holiday period.

Across the state, police issued 3682 speed infringements, conducted 122,617 breath tests resulting in 244 people charged with drink driving, 543 positive roadside drug detections, and attended 302 major crashes that left 110 people injured.

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