16 DEAD: Coffs police plead with public after horror year
SIXTEEN people have died on the roads in the Coffs-Clarence region in 2019, with Detective Superintendent Steve Clarke 'deeply concerned' safety messages are falling on deaf ears.
The police are now sending a 'drive to survive' message to all motorists in the area as they continue to crackdown on driver behaviour on Northern NSW roads.
The 16 people who have died this year is seven more than the same time last year; with half of those fatalities occurring on local back roads.
Several potential factors have been identified from these fatalities, including negligent driving, fatigue/medical reasons, speeding, drugs and alcohol.
Det Supt Steve Clarke said he's deeply concerned that despite the repetitive messaging from police, drivers are not listening to warnings and continue to take risks behind the wheel.
"16 people - that's not just a number. Those 16 people are husbands, mothers, children, grand parents, best friends and colleagues," Det Supt said.
"Fatal crashes have ripple effects which impact dozens of people, it can tear at the heart strings of communities. One decision on the road can bring life-long consequences.
"Over the coming months, you will see more of us - on the back roads, on the main roads, out there watching, working hard to reduce rural road trauma and to make sure everyone gets to their destination safely.
"Drivers need to realise that speeding, texting while behind the wheel, being under the influence of alcohol and drugs, and other irresponsible behaviour can have devastating effects on their own lives and the lives of others," Det Supt Clarke said.
Far North Region Traffic Tactician, Inspector Peter McMenamin said officers across Far Northern New South Wales will be will be out targeting dangerous driving behaviours.
"Across the entire Northern Region, 89 people have lost their lives on our roads so far in 2019," Insp McMenamin said.
"As we head towards Christmas, officers from local police districts and Traffic & Highway Patrol will be cracking down on those drivers who choose to put their lives and others in danger.
"If you choose to break the law expect to face the consequences, drivers need to take personal accountability for their actions. We need this to be a combined effort with all road users."