Hunter highway patrol boss disappointed after China Day crackdown

DISAPPOINTED: Police charged more than 30 drivers across the Hunter with drink-driving after the Day road crackdown. More than 500 tickets were issued for speeding. Picture: Marina NeilACUTELY aware of last year’s devastating road toll, senior police say they are fed-up some Hunter motorists still choose to take a gamble by being drunk behind the wheel despite “decades and decades” of driver education.
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Police said they continue to net motorists in well-known random breath testing spots, including Maitland Road and City Road, and are frustrated the message is still yet to sink in.

“It surprises me,” Northern Region highway patrol boss Chief Inspector Bruce McGregor said.

“Despite all the warnings that we have, decades and decades of education, people still choose to do the wrong thing. When does it end?”

Hunter highway patrol officers conducted nearly 17,000 breath tests in the Hunter over the Day long weekend.

Of those, 34 motorists were charged with drink-driving and will front court, which police consider a disappointing result.

A p-plater blew 0.197 – nearly four times higher than the legal limit –at a mobile breath test in Muswellbrook on Sunday night. The 25-year-old was charged with high-range drink-driving andhis licence was suspended. Another was also charged with police pursuit over achase at Singleton at the weekend.

In Singleton, the 20-year-old male driver was driving with a car full of young people when he overtook drivers –including a highway patrol car –allegedly while speeding on the New England Highway on Saturday night.

It is alleged the Commodore accelerated away and reached an estimated speed of between 120km/h and 140km/h in a 60km/h zone.

The car eventually stopped with the driver arrested and charged with various offences including police pursuit, which carries a maximum five-year jail term.

In another pursuit on Sunday night, police were forcedto use road spikes after a driver failed to stop at Mayfield.

The driver abandoned the car at Warabrook and fled the scene. Police investigations into that pursuit continue.

Hunter highway patrol officers also charged eight others with drug-driving.

A further 508 tickets were issued for speeding, 24 seat belt infringements and 17 were fined for using a mobile phone behind the wheel.

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