Around 285 people having died this year on regional roads.
Around 285 people having died this year on regional roads. File

Police plead with country drivers following fatal crashes

POLICE from the NSW Traffic & Highway Patrol have put out a plea to country motorists to drive safely following a number of fatal crashes in regional areas.

According to NSW Police, regional areas are overrepresented in road trauma statistics compared to metropolitan areas, with 285 people having died this year on regional roads.

NSW Traffic & Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy said most of the lives lost can be attributed to poor decisions by drivers, including speeding, drink-driving and driving tired.

"Speeding, drink-driving and driving tired are by far the three biggest contributors to fatal crashes, especially in country or regional areas and a combination of any two of these factors is a disaster waiting to happen.

"We are past the point of being disappointed, we are now angry that drivers are not listening to our warnings.

"Many drivers are returning home after spending Christmas with their loved ones, please make sure you are rested before your trip home, and take regular breaks,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

Road Policing Command Superintendent John Fitzpatrick said drivers must realise there are risks when driving on country roads.

"Long stretches of road, comfortable cars and cruise control can lead to complacency; motorists and riders must not only be mindful of their actions on the road but aware and ready to react in response to other road-user's mistakes.

"Take a break, plan your journey and drive to the conditions, and if you've been out late the night before your trip or been out drinking, don't leave early.

"There must be an onus on an individual driver to take responsibility for their own actions and on our country roads where 100km/h is not forgiving, there's simply no room for error,” Superintendent Fitzpatrick said.

Senior police from the NSW Traffic & Highway Patrol and Victorian Road Policing commands are now standing together in the hopes of stemming the trauma already seen on roads across the two states.