NSW motorists have been scolded for their “reckless and criminal” driving after a road safety operation recorded nearly more than 15,500 offences in the first 12 days of September alone.
Police Minister Yasmin Catley issued a stern reprisal to road users who broke the law, and said they were risking the lives of fellow drivers.
“Every single person committing these 15,689 offences in just 12 days has broken the law. They have endangered themselves, and everyone else on the roads,” she said.
“Police are out in force, proactively targeting reckless drivers, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, driving using their phones, driving at speeds insanely over the limit. What more can they do?”
Between September 1 to 12, police issued 15,689 offences, with more than a third (5441) comprised of speeding infringements.
The data obtained under the road safety blitz, Operation Katana, revealed police recorded another 373 offences for drink driving, and a further 125 for seatbelt and helmet related penalties. 341 notices were also issued for mobile phone usage, and 903 offences were issued for licence-related misdemeanours.
“These numbers speak for themselves. I honestly can’t imagine what more our police can do than this massive effort,” Ms Catley said.
“We’ve seen too many tragic incidences in recent weeks of people killed and families torn apart because of speeding drivers. This is reckless and criminal behaviour.”
Ms Catley also rejected claims put forward by the NRMA that police weren’t doing enough, and said the onus was on drivers to slow down.
“How about NRMA telling their members to slow down and obey the road rules instead of criticising the tireless efforts of our hard-working police,” she said.
On Wednesday the motorists association called for increased budget funding to put more visibly marked police cars on the road, after the state’s annual road toll skyrocketed to 253 as of July this year. The figure showed a 60 year-on-year increase in deaths compared to the same period in 2022.
A survey out of 3305 NRMA members also found 65 per cent of members said visibly marked police cars would be a deterrent for bad driver behaviour.
NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury labelled it a “national crisis” with more than 1200 road deaths occurring nationally in the first seven months of the year.
However, Ms Catley said the responsibility couldn’t solely be placed on law enforcement.
“I’m sick of every problem being blamed on police. Drivers need to take responsibility and slow down,” she added.
“NRMA should join us, support our police and lay the responsibility where it belongs – at the feet of reckless and illegal driver behaviour.”