Recent drug results reveal alarming trend on NSW roads – Operation Saturation

Police have been conducting random drug testing this week in regional areas that’s revealed alarming trends amongst NSW drivers as Operation Saturation continues across the state.

Operation Saturation – a high-visibility campaign focusing on driving down the road toll – was launched on Tuesday 9 June 2015 and will continue until Monday 6 July 2015.

NSW Police are focusing on high-risk driving offences such as speeding and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol to reduce the number of fatal crashes on the state’s roads.

As part of this ongoing operation, police conducted random drug testing of drivers within regional areas including Port Macquarie, Wauchope, Kempsey, Mudgee, Port Stephens, Lake Macquarie, Central Hunter and Newcastle.

The following results were recorded during the targeted operation:

  • In the Port Macquarie and Wauchope areas, police conducted 480 random drug tests, 53 of which returned a positive result.
  • In Kempsey police conducted 170 random drug tests, 29 of which returned a positive result.
  • In Mudgee police conducted125 random drug tests, 21 of which returned a positive result.
  • In Port Stephens, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle and Central Hunter police conducted 971 drug tests, 202 of which returned a positive result. In addition 225 speed infringements were issued with 36 traffic charges and 285 other infringements issued.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley, said the results have revealed an alarming trend amongst some NSW road users.

“These figures reflect the dangerous attitudes of some drivers and no doubt they’re of serious concern to other road users,” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.

“153 positive returns translates to a ratio of one in seven tests that are positive at the roadside. In comparison, the ratio of positive breath tests is one in 288.

“Those that test positive run the risk of losing their driver’s licence, their ability to get to work, and their ability to look after their families.

“Safe driving requires good judgement and sharp concentration. You also need to react quickly to changing situations on the road; all of which are dangerously compromised while under the influence of drugs.

“The message is simple; taking drugs of any kind before you get behind the wheel puts you at greater risk of injuring yourself, your loved ones, or other road users.

“With more and more drug testing units being rolled out across the state, if you choose to do the wrong thing you can expect to be caught.

“Police will continue to conduct road safety operations right throughout NSW to ensure that those who choose to ignore the road rules, like drug drivers, are dealt with accordingly,” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.

Operation Saturation, a joint operation between police and the NSW Centre for Road Safety, will continue to target risky behavior, including speeding and drink and drug-driving.

Police are urging all motorists to observe proper occupant restraints, manage fatigue and display responsible driver behaviour.

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