Wagga Highway Patrol's Chris Upton furious at reckless driving

A WAGGA Highway Patrol chief has unleashed a tirade against “moronic” speed demons after a disqualified learner led police on a high-speed pursuit through Tumblong on Tuesday.

A 20-year-old girl has pleaded guilty and been refused bail after leading officers on a 30 kilometre chase near Gundagai, allegedly reaching speeds of up to 170km/h.

The young hoon was apprehended after she tried to leave the Hume Highway but botched a left hand bend and veered down a grass embankment and into a paddock, nearly crashing her car. 

Senior Sergeant Chris Upton flagged an increasing prevalence of reckless driving on Riverina’s roads, pleading with motorists to use common sense. 

“You’ve got sensible mums and dads who are driving on the same roads as these ratbags,” he said.

“Some of the driving we’re seeing is just outright moronic.

“We’re seeing people who are continuing to lead police on these high-speed pursuits, even after their tyres have been spiked.

“Many of them are even veering into oncoming traffic.” 

Tumblong, where the pursuit took place, saw 29 drivers clocked 45km/h over the speed limit in 2016 alone.

Despite being a town with roughly 400 inhabitants, it ranked seventh in NSW for serious speeding offences throughout the entire year. 

Meanwhile, a grieving Temora mother has broken her silence following the tragic death of her son in a car accident just before Christmas. 

Sharon Beattie’s 23-year-old son Timothy was killed in a car accident in the Southern Highlands while he was driving to work. 

She has used her heart-wrenching experience to remind motorists to be safe on the roads. 

“As a mother I tried to think what I could have done to prevent this tragedy,” she said. 

“He rounded a bend in the road and came off onto the dirt and then he tried to get back on the road and drove 90 degrees to the oncoming traffic.

“I can only imagine my son’s panic as he tried to correct his driving and his terror when he saw the other vehicle about to impact.”

Ms Beattie said since returning to Temora, she has seen first hand evidence of reckless driving. 

“I’ve driven around the quiet back roads and I have seen tyre marks where young men have done 360’s and burnouts,” she said. 

Since January 2016, 29 people have lost their lives on roads in the South West NSW district and 306 have been seriously injured. 

The outcome represented a sizeable portion of the state's 375 road deaths last year, according to official figures.


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