THE Oxley Local Area Command halved its road toll in 2013, while three times as many people were killed in the Barwon LAC compared to the year before.
In total, 22 people lost their lives in a string of tragic accidents on local roads – six of those in the New England – between January 1 and December 31 last year.
The 2013 road toll shows a drop for most local roads, but local highway patrol boss Senior Sergeant Peter McMenamin said although Barwon bucked the trend, there was a reason.
“They’ve had a couple of accidents that have been multiple fatalities,” he said.
“For their nine deaths in 2013 there were only seven actual crashes, so the multiple fatalities actually impact that.”
In October, an elderly couple and their son died when their car left Glencoe Rd and rolled several times about 41km from Narrabri.
During the Christmas week alone the same area recorded two deaths – a 23-year-old man died in a high-speed crash on the Carnarvon Highway, while an 18-year-old died when her car rolled several times near Narrabri.
But Senior Sergeant McMenamin said police had been making inroads in their bid to bring down the road toll.
The New England LAC has cut its road toll by more than two-thirds since 2011, when 19 people lost their lives.
“For one command with a very extensive road network they are required to cover, they have done an excellent job,” Senior Sergeant McMenamin said.
“I commend them for their ongoing efforts and dedication for what they do.”
A larger police presence, both on the highways and inside the town limits with general-duties police officers, is paying dividends.
In 2013 Oxley recorded its lowest road toll in three years and had half the number of road deaths compared to 2012.
“Across the region we have been working very hard to achieve the results. It’s good to see our efforts have made a difference,” Senior Sergeant McMenamin said.
Highway patrol officers have also launched operations targeting the Newell and New England highways, as part of ongoing assessments of road behaviour and crash data.