Police have targeted “selfish” drivers using their mobile phones, fining more than 1200 people across New South Wales in a one-day blitz.
Officers targeted “dangerous driver behaviour” on Wednesday, including mobile phone use, not keeping left, and defective vehicles.
Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy on Thursday lamented that drivers had not heeded warnings about texting while driving.
“Despite the numerous warnings and obvious dangers to drivers and innocent road users, the message not to text and drive is just not getting through,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.
“In a single day, officers issued more than 1200 infringements to people who made the selfish choice to use their phone while driving.”
He said it showed a “complete disregard for personal safety and the safety of everyone else on the road”.
Officers issued 1215 infringements for mobile phone offences, which come with a $330 fine and the loss of four demerit points.
Officers also gave out 137 infringements for not keeping left and 586 for defective vehicles in NSW.
It comes after a horror season on NSW roads, with 392 deaths last year.
Road safety package
The state government on Tuesday announced it would be rolling out cameras to catch drivers using their mobile phones.
The package will also allow police to issue on-the-spot fines and licence suspensions for low-range drink-driving.
Motorists with a mid-range drink-driving conviction will be forced to have a breathalyser fitted into their car, which won’t start unless a negative reading is given.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it was up to the community to abide by the law.
“The strictest road rules in the world don’t take away from personal responsibility,” Ms Berejiklian said, announcing the package on Tuesday.
She added that “one second of distraction, one second of doing the wrong thing” could cost someone their life.
Heavy vehicle average-speed cameras, which test a truck’s speed over an extended distance, will also be added to 11 new locations.
The state government aims to take the number of road deaths and serious injuries to zero by 2056. One person is killed or seriously injured in crashes in the state every 41 minutes.
Last month, five people were killed in truck-related crashes in 48 hours.
“All of us have been touched by the heartbreak of the unnecessary loss of lives on our roads,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We’ve witnessed heartache for families all too frequently in the last two months.”
Country road upgrades will cost the government $125 million, with 1600km of rumble strips rolled out to stop drivers drifting to the wrong side of the road.
Another $11 million will go towards pedestrian and cyclist refuges and crossings under the package.
A review into driving on prescription drugs has also been requested by April.
The package is in addition to the number of roadside drug tests doubling to 200,000 every year, and being expanded to include cocaine tests.
Last week, police began raiding trucks on NSW roads in an effort to stop “cowboy” drivers and “ratbag” operators.
Every truck and heavy vehicle travelling in, through and out of NSW was checked in the operation, in conjunction with officers from Victoria, Queensland, the ACT and South Australia.