Tweed Byron police’s vow after heartbreaking drink-driving tragedy
THE image of a Sydney mother kneeling at the memorial site where three of her children and their cousin were killed by an alleged drink driver this week has torn at hearts across the nation.
In response to the tragedy, Tweed Byron District Police have vowed to do everything in their power to make sure similar heartbreak is never seen in our community.
Local police will renew their efforts to stop drink and drug driving in the community for the coming months.
Tweed Byron Police District Acting Superintendent Detective Inspector Brendon Cullen said fatal road collisions had a ripple effect not only on the individuals and their families but emergency workers and the community in general.
“Only on the weekend we will be alleging a 41-year-old lady was driving (in Kingscliff) with a prescribed concentration of alcohol of 0.324 with a young child in the car,” he said.
“That type of behaviour is not to happen, it is highly dangerous and we will not tolerate it.
“I would like to assure the community we are doing everything we can to keep the roads safe for them and their families.”
As part of the strong stance, Act Sup Cullen said increased police numbers would be seen in and around licenced premises, on main roads and even backstreets.
“You will see police cars on the roads in numbers like you haven’t seen before,” he said.
“We will be testing drivers, stopping cars and taking firm actions.
“(We will put) people before the courts who break the law and want to drive on our roads intoxicated.
“Fortunately in 2020, there have been no fatalities on our roads in the Tweed Byron police district and I thank the drivers for being attentive.
“But it takes one momentary action on the road which can lead to a lifetime of significant consequences.”
Act Sup Cullen said the Sydney tragedy “has torn at the heart strings of the community”.
“(A fatal crash affects) not just the local area where it happens, but right across the districts - we are determined that something like that should not happen in our community and we should do all we can to prevent that,” he said.
The top cop said in the past the area has suffered from a “significant” drink driving issue particularly around the Byron Bay area.
“People think they can go out, have a few drinks and jump in their car and go home - well you can’t, the carnage on our roads leads to accidents and torn lives, we plead to people not to do that,” Act Sup Cullen said.
“Get a plan B, get a plan before you go out drinking, organise how you are going to get home and get home safely.”
Act Sup Cullen explained the side of policing the public didn’t see often was day in and day out dealing with grieving families.
“That is a difficult thing to do, particularly when lives can be saved through unnecessary poor decisions,” he said.
“We are also focusing on mobile phones behind the wheel, using a mobile phone while driving is a significant distraction to what you are doing on the road and can lead to dire consequences.
“Anyone that uses a phone behind the steering wheel is a fool.”