1. January 14: A 40-year-old man from Southport, Qld.
2. March 12: A 52-year-old man from Tabulam.
3. March 13: A 28-year-old woman from Alstonville.
4. March 16: A 24-year-old man from Goonellabah.
5. April 2: An 84-year-old man from West Ballina.
1. January 14: A 40-year-old man from Southport, Qld. 2. March 12: A 52-year-old man from Tabulam. 3. March 13: A 28-year-old woman from Alstonville. 4. March 16: A 24-year-old man from Goonellabah. 5. April 2: An 84-year-old man from West Ballina. Obelia McCormack

You're more likely to die on our roads

THE roads of the Northern Rivers have killed more people this year than those of any other part of NSW, police said.

Sixteen people have died in car accidents in the Richmond Local Area Command since January, compared with seven for the whole of last year.

The damning figures have prompted police to launch Operation Richmond Speed.

During the operation, extra traffic police are coming from Sydney to support local highway patrol officers to cut road accidents and fatalities.

Senior Constable Michael Hogan said the bigger police contingent would patrol the region in marked and unmarked cars and on motorcycles 24 hours a day from Sunday until December 6.

“We're targeting motorists over the period leading up to the Christmas school holidays and focusing on speed and anti-social driving behaviour,” he said.

“Some of the roads to be targeted include Nimbin Road and Wardell Road,” Senior Constable Hogan said.

The fatal accidents had involved various factors, but data showed 40 per cent involved excessive speed or alcohol, Snr Const Hogan said.

Richmond LAC traffic officer Sergeant Jodie Hamilton said police were also concerned about the number of accidents caused by distractions.

“Accidents involving distractions such as fiddling with a CD player while driving tended to happen between the hours of 6am and 9am and 4pm and 8pm,” Sgt Hamilton said.

“Motorists are warned that they will be seeing a dramatic increase in Highway Patrol police during the operation.

“If you flout the law, be prepared to wear the consequences.”

Inspector Greg Moore, of Ballina police, said police wanted motorists to use the Driver Reviver spots and rest places along the Pacific Highway to reduce fatigue.

“We'll be targeting areas with a high number of accidents, such as the Pacific Highway between Woodburn and Knockrow, and the places where we catch a lot of drivers speeding,” he said.

“People can expect to see a lot more police on the roads, breathalysing and in unmarked vehicles.”



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