NSW holiday road toll rises to 8

SENIOR police are pleading with motorists to take extra care on the road with the state's Christmas/New Year road toll rising to eight.

A five-year-old girl suffered critical head injuries after being ejected from a Holden Barina that ran off the Pacific Highway and struck a tree near Broadwater, on the state's north coast, about 3pm on Monday.

She was taken to Lismore Base Hospital for emergency treatment but died early Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, a 66-year-old man was thrown from his Suzuki Intruder motorcycle when it hit a kangaroo on the Newell Highway 30km north of Moree, in the state's north-west, at 7.10pm on Monday.

The man, from Margate in Queensland, was conveyed in critical condition to Moree District Hospital but died just before 4am on Tuesday.

And a 58-year-old woman who was badly hurt when her Toyota Camry collided with a B-double truck on the Pacific Highway at Warrell Creek, on the state's north coast, about 3.30am last Friday, December 23, has died in Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital.

Police are out in force across the state targeting speeding, drink-driving and seatbelt offences as part of Operation Safe Arrival, which runs until midnight on Saturday 7 January 2012.

Double demerit points remain in effect for all speeding and restraint offences until Monday 2 January 2012.

Traffic Commander, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, said motorists don't seem to be heeding the road safety messages.

"The Christmas weekend has already been marred by a number of horrific crashes but the death of a five-year-old girl after being ejected from a car which slammed into a tree is a particularly tragic," Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.

"The terribly sad thing is that so many of the deaths that occur on our roads could be prevented by motorists taking a bit more care - driving to the speed limit, being mindful of the conditions and taking regular rest breaks when driving long distances.

"I'd appeal to everyone hitting the roads over the days and weeks ahead to think about their actions behind the wheel and how by doing the wrong thing they could seriously injure or kill themselves, a passenger or another innocent road user," he said.

In the past 24 hours, police conducted 29,444 random breath tests and charged 29 motorists with drink-driving (down from 64 last year).

Police also nabbed 702 speeding motorists (down from 1107 last year) and issued 1076 infringements for other traffic offences (down from 1506 last year).



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WEATHER: Thunderstorms, strong winds this afternoon

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