Police to target road trauma across Murray River district

By Ivy Jensen

MORE police will be out and about across Moama and Mathoura in an effort to reduce road deaths and injuries.

Murray River Police District is taking part in Operation Merret, an unorthodox and proactive approach to road policing aimed at educating and empowering the public to make the right decisions on the state’s roads.

Sergeant Phil Cookson of Deniliquin police said the three-month operation would not only target motorists for dangerous behaviours, but educate drivers on safe behaviour and encourage those who were doing the right thing through positive reinforcement.

Last year’s Operation Merret saw more than 30,000 infringements issued across the state for a range of offences, including speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, using a mobile phone while driving and drunk driving.

"Drunk and drug driving is a concern year round," Sgt Cookson said.

"While we are seeing more people driving with illicit substances, alcohol is still a significant factor."

Most of those killed in fatal crashes in NSW this year were drivers (48.9 per cent), followed by passengers (16.8 per cent) and pedestrians (15.3 per cent).

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said there had been too many lives lost in preventable tragedies this year on our roads.

“Every police officer in the state has been tasked with speaking to drivers, riders, passengers and pedestrians about their responsibilities and safe choices on and around our roads,” Asst Comm. Corboy said.

“Motorists, passengers and pedestrians need to be accountable for the decisions they make that impact other road users."

Sgt Cookson urged all motorists to make safety their first priority to prevent further serious injuries or death on our roads.

“Put your seatbelt on, drive to the conditions, don't speed, don't use your phone while driving and plan your trips to avoid fatigue,” he said.

The operation will run until October 26.Anyone with information about illegal and dangerous driving behaviour is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.