The Newcastle Herald: Hunter records no road deaths in Christmas-New Year police operation

Northern NSW recorded more serious crashes, injuries, drink-driving charges and speeding infringements than the state’s western and southern regions during the latest annual Christmas-New Year police crackdown.

Despite this, there were no deaths on roads in NSW Police’s Northern Region – which stretches from the Central Coast-Hunter to the Queensland border.

NSW Police breaks the state into regional areas – Northern, Southern and Western – as well as a Sydney Metropolitan zone.

The festive season operation ran from Christmas Eve to Sunday night.

During that time, 2517 people were booked for speeding, 181 motorists were charged with drink-driving and 37,774 breath-tests were conducted in the Northern Region.

Sixty-nine people were injured in the 153 serious crashes that were reported to police.

The three deaths on regional NSW roads took place in Western NSW, where three separate fatal crashes occurred.

Police publicly pointed to several notable cases of bad driver behaviour during the operation.

On the final afternoon of the crackdown, a 34-year-old Shortland man was charged after he was allegedly detected driving 180km/h in a 110km/h zone on the Pacific Highway at Bulahdelah, not far north of Newcastle.

It came after another case in which police charged a 26-year-old Singleton who was allegedly found driving with a blood-alcohol reading more than twice the legal limit on Wine Country Drive at Branxton on Sunday morning.

The man will face court in February.

Senior police in Sydney said earlier this week that the state’s 2020 road toll was the lowest in almost a century, but they urged motorists not to become complacent.

Fifty-six fewer people died on NSW roads last year compared with 2019.

“As a front-line worker, one of the hardest things to do is deliver the news of a loved one’s death – especially as a result of a road crash which could have been avoided by making better choices behind the wheel,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hegarty said.

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