Illawarra road blitz delivers get-tough message

Police are urging motorists taking on the Boxing Day traffic today to drive with caution to avoid becoming a tragic statistic.

Wollongong officers Senior Constables Mark Byers and Paul McGarry on the Princes Highway at Corrimal. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODO

Wollongong officers Senior Constables Mark Byers and Paul McGarry on the Princes Highway at Corrimal. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODO

Officers from Wollongong and Lake Illawarra area commands have been out in force targeting speeding, drink-driving, seatbelt offences and other traffic offences in the first days of NSW's annual road blitz Operation Safe Arrival.

Wollongong police Chief Inspector Brian Wyver said drivers could expect to be pulled over for random breath testing.

"We're getting people who have been pulled over for the second time in three days," he said.

Across the state, police have conducted 148,945 breath tests in the first four days of the two-week operation, laying 231 charges.

Insp Wyver said some drivers were still getting caught out the morning after a bender and he urged people to leave a sensible length of time before getting behind the wheel.

Highway patrol commander Assistant Commissioner John Hartley urged motorists to slow down in wet weather.

"We often see an increase in traffic incidents during wet weather, but I'm hoping all motorists heed the warning so everyone makes it to their destination this holiday season," he said.

As of last night the state's road toll for the Christmas period stood at two.

One of the fatal crashes occurred on Mt Ousley Rd on Sunday afternoon, when a 79-year-old woman died and her husband, 80, was seriously injured.

Just after 1pm a Toyota Camry and a Ford Falcon collided near the intersection of Mt Ousley Road and the F6 at Mt Ousley. Police say the Camry driver was trying to cross the southbound lanes of the freeway to head north up Mt Ousley, but ended up in the path of the southbound Falcon, which collided with the back section of the Camry.

The driver of the Toyota, a 73-year-old man, sustained facial injuries in the crash. His wife, 74, escaped injury.

An elderly couple who were travelling in the back seat sustained significant injuries and were taken to Wollongong Hospital for emergency treatment.

The 79-year-old woman died later in hospital.

Her husband, 80, remains in a serious but stable condition with suspected spinal fractures.

The 73-year-old male driver of the Ford received minor injuries in the accident and his wife, 69, sustained a fractured left arm and wrist.

They were also taken by ambulance to Wollongong Hospital for treatment.


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