“Just slow down, take your time, concentrate and turn off your phone.”
Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council Mayor Abb McAllister has issued a blunt warning to drivers after news that regional police issued more than 250 infringements to drivers in what was a particularly busy Queen’s Birthday long weekend.
“There are so many messages around about speeding, drink driving or using your phones, and it seems like people just aren’t heeding them,” Cr McAllister said.
Like Cr McAllister, Cootamundra-Gundagai’s NSW State Emergency Service (SES) local controller Ross Tout has a simple message for drivers on the shire’s roads.
“Slow down, concentrate and drive to the conditions,” he said.
“It can take just a split second, a lapse in concentration, and you’re off the side of the road.”
Across the region, a huge 4438 drivers were pulled over for random breath tests over the three days, with just seven people returning readings that were over the legal limit.
While that was just a tiny fraction of the drivers tested, Inspector Adrian Telfer said any number of drink-driving incidents was unacceptable.
“It’s still disappointing that we identified seven people, but that is out of 4000, so I guess depending on which way you look at it, it’s a good result,” Inspector Telfer said.
“But certainly for those seven people involved, they’ll be put before the courts.”
Speeding was without doubt the biggest problem this long weekend, with 144 motorists caught.
Inspector Telfer said that number was disappointing.
“We’re certainly putting it out there that speeding is one of the contributing factors to accidents in this area,” he said.
“We have a lot of very small rural roads between our small towns and small communities, and that’s where we are seeing accidents with injuries and fatalities – so we’re certainly pleading and trying to get that message out there to slow down.”
Police also issued two infringement notices to motorists not wearing seat belts and 107 infringement notices for other offences.
Inspector Telfer said motorists using their mobile phones behind the wheel was another big issue.
“I can assure you that part of those 100 tickets that were given over the weekend were for mobile phones,” he said.
“People have just got to put their mobile phones away when they’re driving, because it is a distraction and, when you’re on those small roads, there’s a very small room for error.”