Police blitz: 'More officers, more often, at more locations'

TRAFFIC and Highway Patrol officers will initiate a state-wide operation tomorrow to target road users putting themselves and others at risk at a time when the road toll has reached 342 so far this year.

Operation Saturation - part of Operation Toward Zero - is a high-visibility operation beginning tomorrow and concluding on November 27.

The operation will be focusing on speeding, illegal mobile phone use, seatbelt and helmet compliance, driver fatigue and drink and drug driving, with officers engaging with road users to raise their awareness and educate them on the risks of irresponsible road use.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Acting Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, said the responsibility of reducing road trauma lies with every person using the road.

"Drivers, riders, cyclists, passengers and pedestrians all have to play a part in assisting us to bring this tragic and avoidable loss of life to an end," Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

"We will ensure that anyone caught taking risks, or risking the lives of others, by doing the wrong thing on the road, will be stopped and dealt with according to the law.

"We will have more officers, more often, at more locations to detect, stop and take those road users not obeying the rules off the roads," Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

So far this year, 342 people have died on NSW roads, 32 more than the same time last year.

Bernard Carlon, Executive Director for the Centre for Road Safety, said it was imperative that road users take responsibility for their actions.

"This year has been a horrific one with 342 people dying on the roads across the state, compared to 309 this time last year - that's hundreds of families who have received the heartbreaking news that their mother, father, daughter, son, brother or sister won't ever be coming home.

"We have pleaded with motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians time and time again. We believe the only acceptable road toll is zero and we need everyone to play their part, to be smart and be safe when they're driving on and walking near roads.

"Fatigue-related road deaths have increased by about 52 per cent in the past year which is extremely worrying and fatalities where people haven't been wearing a seatbelt have increased by about 47% on last year.

"Everyone knows the first thing you should do when you get in a car is put on your seatbelt, but shockingly we are finding that more and more people aren't performing this most basic safety action."

"Wearing a seatbelt significantly reduces your chances of suffering a serious injury in a crash and there is no reason not to wear one."



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