Operation Tortoise reminds drivers to slow down

Senior police are pleading with drivers to slow down and be patient as heavy traffic is expected with many holiday-goers returning home today.

People continue to put their lives at risk with dangerous behaviour, including two learner drivers that were caught driving faster than 140km/h in separate incidents.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, of the Traffic & Highway Patrol Command, said that people need to slow down on their return home, to ensure the safety of all road users.

“Police continue to be out in force today – spending their day away from their own family and friends – in order to keep people safe on the roads.

“As people return from their long-weekend holidays; the last thing we want is to see is a tragic scene where someone has lost their life or killed another, simply because they are rushing.

“Three people have already died during this long-weekend. With a combination of heavy traffic and people not obeying the law, I fear that we could see more people die on our roads.

“Please slow down, it is more important to get you and your family home safe, than to not get home at all,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

Operation Tortoise – the Easter long-weekend traffic operation – began at 12.01am Thursday 13 April 2017 and ends at 11.59pm tonight (Monday 17 April 2017). Double-demerits will be in force throughout the operation.

Traffic is heavy southbound on the Pacific Highway at Woodburn and at Macksville.

As at 11am this morning, southbound traffic was queued about 10 kilometres on the M1 Pacific Motorway between Warnervale and Wyong due to an earlier accident and heavy holiday traffic. 

All lanes of the motorway are open however motorists should continue to allow about 15 minutes extra travel time.

Significant detections over the past 24 hours include:

North Coast:

A 21-year-old man with a Learner licence was detected allegedly driving at 142km/h and not displaying L-plates on the Pacific Highway, Valla, about 9.45am on Sunday, April 16. He had his licence suspended on the spot and was issued an infringement for exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h.


A 19-year-old woman with a suspended Learners licence was detected allegedly driving at 143km/h in a 90km/h zone on Newcastle Link Road, Wallsend, about 11.55pm on Sunday, April 16. The number plates of the vehicle were removed and the driver was charged with a number of driving offences. She is due to face Newcastle Local Court on Thursday, April 27. 

Nambucca Heads

A 20-year-old woman with a P2 provisional licence was detected allegedly speeding at 135km/h in a 100km/h zone, about 9am on Sunday, April 16. She was stopped and arrested after returning a positive breath test. She was later charged with low-range drink-driving and issued an infringement for speeding by more than 30km/h. She had her licence suspended on the spot and is due to face Macksville Local Court on May 10. 

Key statistics (progressive total):

Speed infringements: 6077

Breath tests: 191,224

PCA charges: 199

Major crashes: 274

Fatalities: 3.