Rescue workers survey the wreckage of a twin-cab utility in which a man sustained facial and leg injuries after colliding with
Rescue workers survey the wreckage of a twin-cab utility in which a man sustained facial and leg injuries after colliding with

HOLIDAY CARNAGE

By ED SOUTHORN

NO deaths have been recorded in the Tweed-Byron region during the Christmas-New Year period, but it has been a fine line between life and death for some motorists on local roads.

In a horrific collision on the Tweed Valley Way at Condong shortly before midday on Saturday, the driver of a Holden ute sustained facial and leg injuries after colliding with a light truck about 1km east of the Boral factory.

The driver of the ute was trapped in the wreckage and had to be cut free before being transported to The Tweed Hospital.

The accident happened in a 70kph zone, where residents have been calling for lower speed limits.

The national toll had climbed o 50 last night following a head-on collision in South Australia's Yorke Peninsula that claimed four people.

Tweed traffic police set up a random breath-testing post on the Pacific Highway at Sexton Hill from 4am to midday yesterday, stopping 80 motorists.

Six drink-driving offenders and three other traffic offenders were recorded. The highest blood alcohol reading was 0.18 per cent.

Sergeant Bill Darnell said too many drivers were risking their lives.

"It's only a few metres or seconds between getting to your destination or not getting there at all," he warned.

Sgt Darnell urged drivers over the holidays not to answer phones while driving, not to chance an extra drink before driving and not to go even a few kilometres over the speed limit.

On New Year's Eve, 10 people were injured in a two-car collision on the Nerang-Southport Road on the Gold Coast. A 30-year-old male driver suffered serious injuries in the 9.50pm (DST) crash, when his car collided with a station wagon carrying seven passengers.

Gold Coast police believe the male driver of the station wagon was an unlicensed 16-year-old.

Around Australia, 50 people have so far died in motor vehicle accidents over the Christmas-New Year holiday period.

Queensland and Victoria have the nation's highest holiday road toll with 12 each, NSW eight, Western Australia seven, South Australia nine and Tasmania two.

Despite the alarming holiday death count, the NSW road toll for 2005 ? provisionally 516 ? is the lowest for 60 years, Roads Minister Joe Tripodi announced yesterday.

Across NSW, speeding offences have increased but there are fewer drink-driving offenders so far during Operation Safe Arrival, which continues until January 6.

A 29-year-old woman was arrested at Brunswick Heads for drink driving more than three times over the limit at the weekend, with a blood alcohol reading of 0.165 per cent. She had an unrestrained child in the rear of her van and her driver's licence was suspended, police said. She is due to appear in Mullumbimby Local Court on Febraury 16.

A 39-year-old Canberra man was caught by police in Broulee on the NSW south coast riding a quad bike on the road while "doubling" his three-year-old son.

The child allegedly fell and hit his head on the quad bike's tow ball when the man stopped. The man has been charged with unlicensed driving, having an unregistered and uninsured vehicle and not wearing a helmet.



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