Disqualified from driving for 76 years, and caught behind the wheel

A truck driver under the influence of meth, a motorcyclist who sped past police at 73km/h over the speed limit and a man caught behind the wheel despite being disqualified from driving for 76 years were just three people charged in a single day on NSW roads.

The trio were among 17,000 infringements issued across the state since NSW Police’s Operation Safe Arrival began on December 15.

The operation targets potentially fatal infringements, including speeding, drink- and drug-driving, phone use, and not wearing seatbelts.

Double demerits come into effect on Friday as part of the annual attempt to reduce dangerous behaviour on roads at Christmas.

Since the operation began, police have carried out more than 30,000 breath tests a day and have issued around 17,000 infringements. Over the same period, there have been nearly 600 major crashes on NSW roads and five fatalities.

Assistant Commissioner of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Michael Corby warned against driving while disqualified and urged all drivers to pay attention to road conditions and allow plenty of travel time.

“We have seen some poor decisions made by a handful of motorists across the state,” Mr Corby said.

On Wednesday morning, a 26-year-old motorcyclist was caught travelling at 163km/h in a 90km/h zone in Auburn.

Later the same morning, the driver of a 55-tonne road train was stopped near Tweed Heads and found to be under the influence of methamphetamine, driving with a suspended license, and guilty of multiple work diary breaches.

Then around midday, Newcastle police officers pursuing a stolen vehicle were able to arrest the driver after he arrived at a dead end. It was discovered that the man had been involved in previous police pursuits and had been disqualified from driving for 76 years.

The offence of police pursuit is also known as Skye’s Law, named after a toddler who died on New Year’s Eve in 2009 when her parents’ car was hit by a driver fleeing police.

Double demerits will remain in force until midnight on New Year’s Day.