Local News

Hunter Valley Police District officers determined to bring down road trauma through Operation Merret

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Hunter Valley Police District officers are determined to bring down road trauma through Operation Merret. 

NSW Police have already begun Operation Merret that will run through until October, it is an unorthodox and proactive approach to road policing, which is aimed at educating and empowering the public to make the right decisions on our roads.

So far this year, 225 people have been killed on NSW roads, including 67 in Northern Region.

Detective Acting Inspector Steve Benson said their police will be out in force for the entire operation until October.

"You'll see a lot more police visible doing RDT, road side drug testing and RBT road side breath testing. You'll see a clear increase in that,"

"We're looking at general road safety but also specifically pedestrian safety and targeting enforcement, ensuring that people are acting in a safe manner on the roads, checking cars are road worthy and people are driving with appropriate licenses and also ensuring that people aren't driving with either alcohol and drugs in their system," said Detective Acting Inspector Benson.

"It's [alcohol] an issue everywhere and that's why the police are out and about on particular nights in different areas targeting those drivers who are driving over the limit or putting others at risk including themselves."

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, and using a mobile phone while driving.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, said Operation Merret was not just about targeting dangerous driving behaviour but encouraging those doing the right thing.

“Most road users are following the law, which needs to be recognised; however, unfortunately there are those who make selfish and reckless decisions that puts others at risk,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

“Whether it be drivers who think texting and driving is more important than the safety of others or those under the influence of drugs or alcohol getting behind the wheel, people are making selfish choices before considering the potentially life-threatening consequences.

“We will not tolerate this behaviour and will take appropriate action where necessary.”

Image credit: Grant Broadcasters/Jessica Rouse