Month-long police blitz aims to end horror run on our roads

A HORRIFIC start to the year on our roads has prompted police to launch a month-long blitz aimed at improving road safety.

In a statement released this afternoon, NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay said 57 people had died in just 48 days on NSW roads.

The Northern Rivers has had more than its share of those deaths, with six people killed and a young child injured in a hit-and-run at Byron Bay at the weekend.

"It has been a horror start to 2014 with increases in the number of drivers, passengers and pedestrians killed," Mr Gay said in a joint statement with Emergency Services Minister Michael Gallacher.

"There are 33 drivers who have died so far this year, seven motorcyclists, six vehicle passengers, six pedestrians and three cyclists.

"We're seeing increases in fatalities of men aged in their thirties and fifties, more deaths in country regions and a near-doubling of fatalities associated with excessive speed."

The new police blitz would begin on Saturday and would focus on drivers who were speeding and/or using mobile phones while driving, the statement said.

An increased police presence would be focused on roads where there had been recent fatalities and other serious crashes. The police patrols would be backed by an increased use of speed cameras.

"It's always important to do all you can to stay safe and keep others safe - obey the speed limits, don't drive when you're tired and drive to the conditions," Mr Gallacher was quoted saying in the statement.

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