Drivers asked to take care after four deaths in 24 hours
A HORROR few days on the roads with at least four deaths as well as the death of Matt Essery, who crashed his motorbike on Cowlong Road at Macleans Ridges, has prompted calls for drivers to take extra care on the roads.
Executive director at the New South Wales Centre for Road Safety, Bernard Carlon, said the school holidays were a particularly busy time on the roads.
"The road toll currently stands at 110 - that's 25 more lives lost than the same time last year, with the biggest increase among drivers," he said.
"It's during the school holidays, when we see many families taking the opportunity to have a getaway - and more people on the road, often taking longer trips on less familiar roads, means an increased safety risk."
In 2015, 16 people were killed on NSW roads during the April school holidays and around 900 people were injured.
"Any death or serious injury that occurs on our roads is a tragedy for our community and we don't want you, your family or friends to ever be touched by this," Mr Carlon said.
"Every single time you get behind the wheel, think about how your driving may impact other people on the road.
"Stick to the speed limit, drive to the conditions, ensure you're well rested before you drive and, if you plan to have a few drinks, don't drive - organise another transport option instead.
"Drivers also need to take responsibility for their passengers - make sure everyone is wearing a seatbelt, and parents, make sure you have the appropriate child restraints for your kids.
"These days, we have safer cars, safer technology, and safer roads - the other crucial element in reducing road casualties is the driver and how we all behave behind the wheel when we are on the road."
The NSW Centre for Road Safety is working in partnership with the NSW Police Force to conduct increased safety operations as part of Operation Saturation.
An extra 10,000 enforcement hours have been added to the Police roster these school holidays.
Operation Saturation involves high visibility policing to target risky behaviour such as drink and drug driving and speeding until 21 April 2016.
It will immediately be followed by Operation GO SLOW, from 22 April 2016 until 25 April 2016.
NSW Police Chief Inspector Phil Brooks yesterday called for drivers to take more care and be patient on the roads.
"Sadly its been a tragic 24-hours on NSW roads," he said.
"Earlier yesterday an 82-year-old woman was struck by a vehicle nearby us here at Ryde.
"The driver of the vehicle was charged with negligent driving causing death."
Chf Insp Brooks said other fatalities occurred at Tamworth, Cecil Hills and Maude, near Hay.
"These sad and tragic events are just a reminder of the key issues on our roads," he said.
"We ask that drivers take extra care and this is a reminder that personal responsibility is the key to road safety right across the NSW road network.
"Sadly these statistics take the road toll to 110 which is 25 more lives lost than this time last year.
"Investigations will focus on speeding, drink and drug driving, fatigue, not wearing a seatbelt and being distracted by mobile phones."