Local News

Clarence Valley drivers steer clear of fatalities during double demerit period

Emma Pritchard While the easing and subsequent tightening of border restrictions resulted in a higher number of motorists travelling during the Christmas and New Year period, Clarence Valley residents were generally well behaved on the roads while double demerits were enforced between December 24 and January 3. Statistics released by the Coffs/Clarence Police District revealed 31 PCA (prescribed concentration of alcohol) offences were recorded, 24 restraint fines were issued where occupants in vehicles were not properly or safely restrained and 31 crashes occurred within the local police district. Thankfully, there were no fatalities. A total of 469 speeding fines were issued with four drivers, including three P2 Provisional licence holders, caught travelling more than 45kph over the speed limit. A further 20 drivers were caught travelling more than 30kph over the speed limit while 76 motorists were fined for travelling more than 20kph over the speed limit. 11 motorists including five P1 and P2 Provisional licence holders were issued with fines for using their mobile phones. Drivers caught using their mobile phones during the double demerit period were issued with a $457 fine and lost 10 demerit points. Police are continuing to target speeding, seatbelt, mobile phone and motorcycle helmet offences throughout the school holiday period and motorists are being urged to remain vigilant and to comply with the road rules. There were 297 deaths on NSW roads in 2020, the lowest since 1923. While there was an increase in the number of motorists fined for using their mobile phones while driving in 2020, speeding remained the leading cause of death.