Police driving home a road safety message

CHROME: Supt Paul McDonald, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie, Commissioner Michael Fuller and Paul Toole, MP.
CHROME: Supt Paul McDonald, Assistant Commissioner Geoff McKechnie, Commissioner Michael Fuller and Paul Toole, MP.

ROAD users putting themselves and other people at risk will be the target of a police operation being held across the Western Region this weekend.

Operation Chrome, which runs across the Western Region from Friday until Sunday will focus on speeding, fatigue, drug and alcohol impaired drivers and other offences which put the community at risk.

Police Commissioner, Michael Fuller, APM, was in Bathurst for the operation's launch, said reducing road trauma was one of the most important roles and responsibilities for NSW Police.

"There's been 166 lives lost this year in regional NSW, that's 20 up from last year.

"That's potentially 166 children orphaned, 166 communities that will never be the same.

"And most of these are preventable deaths.

"We know speed, fatigue and drink driving are the three main causes of deaths [on our road], preventable deaths."

Commissioner Fuller said Traffic and Highway Patrol will be supported by all police over the operation, targeting speed, fatigue, drink driving and any offence "which causes the waste of human life," he said.

While he said police will be out on every road, highway and back street enforcing they would, at the end of the day much rather people drive safely and drive to the conditions and "survive until the end of the weekend."

Assistant Commissioner, Geoff McKechnie, APM, said the community can expect to see high visibility policing this weekend.

He said police will utilise every resource available as they work towards a zero road toll.

"This weekend, every police officer; general duties, specialist police and highway patrol will be out there on our roads ."

He said police will be in places people don't expect them to be.

"We have great capabilities to be on dirt roads, highways, back roads, day and night targeting poor driver behaviour.

"We make no apologies for that, it's about saving lives and making a difference to the communities in which we live and work within the Western Region.

Paul Toole, Member for Bathurst, and Minister for Regional Roads, said Operation Chrome was an important event, saying it would be nice if the region "didn't need operations like this."

"Two-hundred-and-thirty-one people across NSW have lost their lives [ in road crashes], 166 of these come from country areas or the bush.

"Two thirds of fatalities occur in the country," he said.

"These are people who live in our community, people that we know, lost in our local area."