A SHOCKING 40 people found driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the weekend has triggered police to call for more vigilance on our roads.
The alarming figure brings to life year-to-date statistics that indicate five people have died in crashes in the Wagga Local Area Command, which is two more than at the same time last year.
Local highway patrol officers issued 72 infringement notices from 3075 breath tests and 55 drug tests conducted between Thursday and Sunday, as part of a statewide high-visibility operation on road safety.
Of the notices issued, 31 related to positive drug tests, nine to driving under the influence of alcohol and 14 speeding offences.
Senior Sergeant Wayne McLachlan, Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, Southern Region Riverina Cluster, said the recent statistics were far worse than previous years.
“The recent road statistics in the Wagga area show that road users are not taking the responsibility of holding a driver’s licence seriously, and are continually putting lives on the line while on the roads,” Senior Sergeant McLachlan said.
“The messages aren’t getting across to the community.
“To detect 40 people in only four days with alcohol or drugs in their system while on the roads is extremely concerning.
“We are doing everything we can to help prevent people dying on our roads, but police can only do so much.”
Of the 40 people caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs on our roads, 32 were male and aged between 18 and 64.
“Motorists need to take responsibility for their own actions,” Senior Sergeant McLachlan said.
“If you choose to break the road rules, you will be caught.”
So far this year, 296 have been killed on NSW roads – a sobering 29 more than last year.
In the lead-up to the festive season, police will continue to be out in force on the roads, with road safety operations planned throughout the holidays.
“I urge all motorists to think about how your family and friends would cope if you were killed or seriously injured in a collision,” Senior Sergeant McLachlan said.
“Don't speed, don’t use alcohol or drugs and drive, don't use mobile phones whilst driving and have rest breaks on long trips.
“Practise these easy rules and stay alive."
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