BYE, THANKS FOR COMING

By Jane Gardner

TAL YORESH and his family, from the Gold Coast, were unfortunate enough to get stuck in yesterday's Pacific Highway gridlock .

It was exacerbated by Blues Fest fans leaving early to get back to Queensland.

"The traffic was incredible. Absolutely unbelievable," he said. "It was 20kmh for five metres and then stop, then go slowly, then stop again."

Byron Bay duty officer Inspector Mark Jago said despite the massive number of vehicles clogging the highway there were no serious accidents. .

As the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival grows in size each year, so does the traffic mayhem, and the number of drink-driving and speeding offences are on the rise.

Byron Bay highway patrol officer Senior Constable Steve Henderson said a suspended Queensland driver sped past a roadside police RBT on Wordsworth Street in Byron Bay at 10.30pm on Saturday. Police pursued the rented Mercedes and arrested the man 300 metres later.

"One in 22 drivers tested were over the legal limit. We also caught seven people under the influence of drugs, six tested positive for amphetamines and one for cannabis," Sen Const Henderson said.

General bad driving behaviour, too, was rampant over the holiday break.

Tweed Heads visitor Alan Downes, 60, was the victim of road rage on Bangalow Road at 2.45pm on Saturday.

A person in an oncoming red sedan lobbed a full bottle of beer at the windscreen of Mr Downes' motorhome, as he and wife Anne drove into Bexhill.



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