Operation safe Christmas

Craig Mctear | 14th December 2009

Coffs-Clarence command officers will be out in force over the holidays.
Leigh Jensen

COFFS Coast motorists who break the law during the Christmas holidays can expect a dressing down from local police.
Operation Safe Arrival starts on Friday with double demerits in force for all speeding and seatbelt offences.
The annual NSW road toll stands at almost 450 and so far this year, 129 people have died on northern region roads, up 20 for the same period in 2008. The Coffs/Clarence local area command has recorded 18 deaths this year.
Speeding, drink-driving and fatigue remain our biggest killers, according to police.
Northern Region traffic co-ordinator, Senior Sergeant Mal Read, has warned law-breaking motorists can expect to have their driving privileges suspended on the spot for serious offences.
“We’ll be out in force this holiday season and those motorists caught flouting the laws can expect to feel the full force of the law,” Sgt Read said.
“The region’s road toll is already too high and we’ll be pulling out all stops to ensure it doesn’t rise further, however, there is also an onus on drivers to do the right thing behind the wheel.”
Heavy traffic and lengthy delays are expected on the region’s major thoroughfares, including the Pacific Highway, as tens of thousands of people travel to and from popular tourist spots.
Operation Safe Arrival ends in early January.
NSW Police have expressed disgust after tallying more than 300 arrests on Saturday night as part of a massive crackdown on alcohol-fuelled violence.
The police were confronted with brawls, assaults and robberies across the State on Saturday during their high-profile campaign against anti-social behaviour. Also, almost 200 motorists were caught drink-driving.
“It’s just staggering,” said Assistant Commissioner Frank Mennilli.
More than 1400 extra police were deployed across the State during the two-day blitz on alcohol-related violence and other crime.