Police arrest drivers after highway drag race
THE Pacific Highway at Tyagarah became a high-speed racetrack on Saturday morning, with two motorcycles and a white Porsche vying for title of biggest idiot.
However, the drivers stand little chance of staging a repeat performance after police confiscated their vehicles.
While it bore little resemblance to Oran Park or Bathurst, when two motorcycles overtook the white Porsche, allegedly travelling at 192km/h, an informal race was on.
Police stationed on the highway on Saturday as part of Operation Safe Arrival spotted the high-speed drag at 10.40am, and allege the three males reached speeds of up to 224km/h in a 100km/h zone.
The trio streaked down the southbound lanes of the highway before they were stopped near the Byron Bay exit.
The men were well placed for a stab at winning the annual V8 Supercar event at Bathurst, where the average speed of cars at the race this year was 151km/h.
The driver of the Porsche, a 31-year-old from Mosman, and the two motorcyclists, a 28-year-old from Woody Point and a 25-year-old from Enoggera, were arrested.
The arresting officers were part of the Traffic Support Group, which is currently stationed in the Tweed-Byron Command to assist with Operation Safe Arrival.
The men were taken to the Byron Bay police station and charged with driving at a speed dangerous to the public, street racing and exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h.
Each of the men had their vehicles confiscated and all lost their licence.
They will face Byron Bay Local Court on January 23.
Sergeant Rob Taylor, of Tweed Heads police, was appalled at the behaviour of the speeding drivers.
“The sad fact is that some people are simply idiots,” Sgt Taylor said. “No amount of public awareness, advertising, police patrols or fatal accident statistics seems to stop them doing this type of thing.
“But I can assure you that when they do get caught - and they all eventually get caught - we will take their vehicles and they will not drive again in New South Wales for an extremely long time.”
Sgt Taylor said police were exasperated that drivers were taking so many risks, especially during the busy holiday period.
Senior Sergeant David Chandler, from the NSW Traffic Support Group, said the driving behaviour of the three men was 'stupid and irresponsible'.
“These men were not only endangering their own lives by travelling at high speed and road racing, they were also putting the lives of other innocent road users in jeopardy,” he said.
Just two days into Operation Safe Arrival, there have been three fatalities on NSW roads, including a 19-year-old woman who died in Grafton hospital after a single-car accident at Ulmarra.
Double demerit points will be in effect from midnight tomorrow for all speeding and seatbelt offences.
The operation ends just before midnight on January 4.