Police meet to discuss how to curb the road toll

WITH the Tweed Byron Local Area Command being the second worst in NSW for fatalities with 11 deaths, police are meeting for three days at Coffs Harbour to discuss strategies to curb the road toll.

The conference is being hosted by the Northern Region Traffic Tactician Chief Inspector Trent Le-Merton.

Guests include Traffic and Highway Patrol Command's Assistant Commissioner John Hartley and Mr Bernard Carlon, Acting Executive Director, Centre for Road Safety, Transport NSW

Assistant Commissioner Hartley said the conference would provide the senior management team of Northern Region with the latest information and technology that is available to police to reduce the road toll and detect drivers committing serious offences.

"Our primary road policing strategy is high profile, high visibility deterrence and traffic enforcement," he said.

"Those road users who continue to speed, drink and drug drive, not wear a seat belt or proper helmet, are distracted by a mobile phone or drive tired continue to put us all at risk.

"Personal responsibility by drivers, riders, cyclists, and pedestrians is the key to helping us in driving down the road toll throughout Northern NSW.

"Highway Patrol Officers will continue to enforce road safety, for your safety, right throughout the state."

The conference includes presentations by stakeholders about trends and developments in road safety, technology and policing strategies to reduce the road toll.

In Northern Region this year there has been a total of 85 people die in crashes which is seven more than the same period in 2014.

The Hunter Valley are the worst police commands in the state for fatalities with 12, followed by Tweed Byron with 11 and the Richmond LAC with 10.

The NSW road toll is currently at 286, which is 32 more than the same period in 2014. Last weekend alone, from Friday night through to Sunday night, there were four fatal crashes on NSW roads which saw six people killed.

When it comes to the Northern Region, speed and impaired driving (alcohol and drugs) continue to be major issues.

Police have issued 41,110 infringements for speeding this year.

This year police have already conducted 650,924 random breath tests and charged 3641 people with drink driving offences.

The highest number of drivers were caught within Tweed Byron (496) and Coffs Clarence (440) Local Area Commands.

This year, between April to August, officers have conducted 7349 random drug testing in Tweed/Byron, Richmond and Newcastle local area commands.

Of those, 1512 showed positive roadside tests which equates to an estimated one in every five drivers driving with the presence of a prohibited drug in their system.

Acting Executive Director of the Centre for Road Safety Bernard Carlon said the conference was a great opportunity to consider how road safety in the Northern Region can continue to be improved through education and enforcement.

"The Centre for Road Safety has a long and effective partnership with the NSW Police Force, and that's why conferences like this are so important, so that we can continue to hit the right note when it comes to reducing road trauma," he said.

"We know that high visibility enforcement, combined with our road safety education campaigns, and road infrastructure improvements are key to tackling the road toll and reducing serious injury and we'll continue to work closely with police to ensure we can keep you and everyone else on the road safe."

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