Don’t have a bad start to the new year, police warn

WHILE the party might be over for local revellers, a blitz on local roads is entering its final stages and police are warning they will be out in force today.

Operation Safe Arrival has led to more than 6500 drivers being breath-tested in 10 days in the New England, Oxley and Barwon commands, while almost 350 people have been nabbed for exceeding the speed limit.

Double demerits wrap up at midnight tonight, but there could be a few who have a rough start to the new year.

Officers will be all over our roads. Highway patrol Senior Sergeant Peter McMenamin said every car was a mobile RBT.

“If you’ve had a late night ... you could still expect to be over the limit up to and past lunchtime,” he said.

“While you might feel as though you need a hamburger or fizzy drinks, you need to think about how much you’ve had to drink the night before and how much sleep you’ve had.”

He’s warning those who might be tempted to step out for a hangover feed to think twice.

“While those things make you feel better, they don’t do anything to reduce the alcohol in your body,” he said.

“There is no miracle cure.”

Already a number of drivers will have to explain themselves in court after they were charged with drink-driving.

While the figures might be down regionally, police said they were still too high.

During the 10 days of the roads blitz, New England, Barwon and Oxley highway officers booked 247 motorists for various traffic infringements, but it seems one simple message is not getting through.

“It’s inexcusable,” Senior Sergeant McMenamin said.

“It should be second nature that when you get in a car, you put your seatbelt on.”

Up to yesterday’s operation figures, 22 people have been booked for failing to click, clack, front and back – the majority in the Tamworth and Gunnedah areas.

“It’s proven that seatbelts save lives, whether it be minor crashes (or) high-speed crashes – it’s just a necessity,” Senior Sergeant McMenamin said.

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