WITH the images of recent fatalities still fresh in their mind, police have condemned the actions of a woman caught driving with two people on the roof and unrestrained passengers in the back seat in Byron Bay last week. On Tuesday , police caught a 26-year-old international female tourist driving a car along Butler and Shirley streets with two people on the roof in the luggage rack and a number of people in the back without seatbelts.
Byron Bay Police Inspector Greg Jago said the woman returned a positive reading to a breath test when she was pulled over by police.
"She was taken back to Byron Bay police station where she did not provide a sufficient breath sample for analysis and was issued with a court attendance notice."
The public display of driver stupidity came after a spate of road fatalities in the Tweed Byron area.
On Christmas Day a couple were killed in a car crash on the Pacific Hwy at South Tweed Heads.
On December 31, a 21-year-old Mullumbimby man died in a single vehicle crash.
On January 3, Ocean Shores cyclist John Foss was killed in a hit and run in Mullumbimby.
Insp Jago said the consequences for the people riding on the roof of the car last week could have been much worse.
"Police are concerned people would have little care for their own safety by travelling on the roof of the car in view of the fatalities in our area in recent times," he said.
"Police are looking at further enforcement in relation to restraints."
Alcohol-fuelled behaviour was witnessed by Byron Bay police again on January 14, when two young men landed themselves in hospital after a fight in Jonson St.
A 26-year-old man was hit over the head with a bottle before he grabbed hold of the 23-year-old alleged offender and punched him a number of times, police said.
They both ended up in hospital, the 23-year-old with a broken jaw.
Jonson St has been highlighted as a late night assault hot spot in recent months.
"It is frustrating that the community acceptance of violence appears to be increasing and that violent offences are reported to police on a regular basis," Insp Jago said.