11 fatalities, 23 serious crashes: Our shocking statistics
IF YOU thought you saw an increased police presence on the Northern Rivers last month, you were right.
Richmond Police District Inspector Bill McKenna said officers were "extremely concerned" about the high number of serious car crashes, fatalities and injuries in the region.
There were three fatalities in September and so far this year there have already been 23 serious car crashes.
Insp McKenna said officers undertook 4500 random breath tests across the district last month as part of a high-visibility traffic operation.
"During Operation Slowdown, between September 29 and midnight on October 1, we did over 2500 RBTs and there were no fatalities during this time," he said.
"At the moment Richmond Police District is number two in the region for fatalities with 11 recorded this year to date."
Insp McKenna said during Operation Slowdown double demerits were enforced for all speeding, mobile phones, seatbelt, and motorcycle-helmet offences.
He said police were frustrated with drivers who continued to speed or were distracted by mobile phones, drug or alcohol while behind the wheel.
"This is of major concern so we are putting a lot of effort to reduce the road toll and this includes a greater police presence, with more RBTS and checks on licence and vehicle compliance," he said.
"Distractions such as mobile phones, inattentive driver behaviour, speed, drugs and alcohol continue to be a factor in the fatal collisions occurring.
"In the year to date we had 23 serious motor vehicle collisions which relate to persons conveyed to hospital with serious injuries and vehicles being towed.
"An analysis of this crash data in the majority of circumstance shows driver distraction has been a cause.
"Some collisions were caused by drivers doing a U-turn and not checking traffic flow," he said.