Operation Safe Arrival: Highway patrol officers and police hit the roads across the New England, Barwon and Oxley areas for the festive season

On duty: Senior Constables Brock Freeman and Dean Robertson, with Sergeant Michael Buko carry out random breath testing in Tamworth on Friday.
On duty: Senior Constables Brock Freeman and Dean Robertson, with Sergeant Michael Buko carry out random breath testing in Tamworth on Friday.

POLICE fear a life will be lost or someone seriously hurt after several people were detected drink driving in 100km per hour zones on the outskirts of towns.

Operation Safe Arrival is in full swing after double demerits kicked into gear on Thursday night.

Police have conducted 5000 RBTS across the Oxley, New England and Barwon areas since December 15 – 1000 of those alone have been done in Tamworth.

“We had a 25-year-old female driver detected on the Oxley Highway at Rushes Creek and police had received reports of a vehicle all over the road and fortunately the vehicle was stopped by Gunnedah police at 10.30pm,” Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Brett Davies said.

“The woman allegedly recorded a blood alcohol reading of .167 and was charged with high-range PCA.”

Police said another 25-year-old was stopped at Uralla at 10am after a campdraft and later allegedly recorded a reading of .101, while a 60-year-old man was also allegedly detected drink driving near Goonoo Goonoo Station. 

Two other drivers were also charged with low-range drink driving on highways by Barwon police.

“We will allege all those drivers have gone over the limit and they’ve all been detected on highways, roads that have a 100km per hour speed limit,” Senior Sergeant Davies said.

“It could be a disaster, if they make one slight mistake, at those speeds there is going to be a serious injury crash, if not a death. 

“These people aren’t running around town, they’re in high-speed areas.

“Our staff are out there doing their job but it is disappointing these drivers are doing this and putting people at risk.”

Dozens of seatbelts offences have been issued, while hundreds of tickets have been handed out for speeding.

Highway Patrol Sergeant Michael Buko said the operation’s name said it all.

“We want people to not have accidents, we want people to slow down, we want people to have a good time but don't do anything stupid, don't drink and drive, don't touch your mobile phone while driving,” he said.

We want people to not have accidents, we want people to slow down, we want people to have a good time but don't do anything stupid, don't drink and drive, don't touch your mobile phone while driving.

Highway Patrol Sergeant Michael Buko

“And if you need to have a break jump off on the side of the road at a rest area, a driver reviver stop site, get the kids out of the car, go for a walk, let them have a play in the park for 10 mins, refresh yourself and continue your trip.

“Driving five or six hours straight is just dangerous and doesn't need to happen.”

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