‘No expense will be spared’ in the next six weeks to tackle traffic offences on the region’s roads and reduce the rising toll.
NSW Police Minister Troy Grant has warned motorists that police would be sending a clear message until April 10, with a saturation of highway patrol officers right across the region, including Forbes and Parkes, under Operation West Force.
“We are putting the communities across all the regional area on notice, you will see the highest visibility and presence of police cars than you’ve seen on your roads in a long long time,” Mr Grant said.
“Do not complain, do not whinge if you are found to be breaking the road rules because there will be a police officer out there to catch you.”
Mr Grant said he was tired of appealing to the community to take responsibility for their driving while watching the road toll rise.
In the Western Region alone, there were 40 road deaths in 2014.
That figure increased to 55 in 2015 and again to 64 last year.
Assistant Commissioner Western Region Geoff McKechnie said the new high-visibility fleet would include seven Volvo XC60s and seven Toyota Landcruiser XVs, ensuring highway patrol units could be active in areas they had never been seen before.
“When we talk about the numbers, 60 last year – that’s 60 lives that were lost, that’s 60 families that are affected, 60 groups of friends and extended family,” he said.
Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said road fatalities in the northern region had gone up by 60 per cent before a similar campaign was launched, but after deploying an additional 300 shifts, no fatalities were recorded during the six-week period or in the proceeding weeks.
The message was clear, Assistant Commissioner McKechnie said.
“Get on board with us, drive safely, obey the laws and most importantly, think about the devastation that your actions cause should you be seriously injured or killed in a motor vehicle collision,” he said.