Thumbs up for drivers
By EMMA CORNFORD email@example.com
DRIVERS in the Lower River generally behaved themselves this Christmas, according to Grafton Highway Patrol Senior Constable Bret Loveday.
"Last year about one in six accidents were alcohol-related, which was pretty much the worst in the state," he said.
"This year it's down to one in sixteen, which is really a very good improvement."
No fatalities or injuries have occurred on Valley roads since the the beginning of the statewide Operation Safe Arrival, which began on December 23.
"That's really excellent. I've never heard of that happening in the lead-up to Christmas," Snr Cnst Loveday said.
"Since December 9 we've given out 317 tickets ... between Halfway Creek and to the other side of Maclean. Most of them have been exceeding the speed limit, which is on par with previous years."
Other offences centred around licence charges, including a man who was detected at an RBT on Bent Street on December 22. He was allegedly driving despite having had his licence disqualified from November 2000 until November 2025. He will appear in Grafton Local Court on January 30.
Snr Cnst Loveday said a huge number of Roads and Traffic Authority-funded RBTs had been established around the Valley during December, including areas at Junction Hill, Pillar Valley and the Lower River.
"Drivers have been pretty good. Out of 1500 tests we've had 10 drink drivers."
On December 16, one Lower Clarence man was charged with high-range PCA after he allegedly returned a reading of 0.170 on his way home from a Christmas party. Snr Cnst Loveday warned drivers that despite the improved results, police would not be 'resting on their laurels' and would continue to patrol the Valley during the new year.