Hunter police charged a man with high-range PCA in Port Stephens at the weekend, after a member of the public reported him for dangerous driving before confiscating his keys.
The bystander’s actions were later praised by Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander Acting Assistant Commissioner Stephen Hegarty.
Between 12.01am on Friday 22 January and 11.59pm on Tuesday 26 January, officers from Traffic and Highway Patrol Command, with assistance from local area commands and police districts, conducted Operation Australia Day 2021 across NSW.
About 6.50am on Sunday 24 January, police received reports from a motorist that the driver of a Nissan Navara was driving dangerously on the Pacific Highway near Heatherbrae.
Officers were told the male, aged 44, drove onto a median strip and hit a small tree before pulling over on Six Mile Creek Road, Eagleton, where the motorist – a 46-year-old man, also stopped and took the driver’s keys away.
Port Stephens-Hunter Police District arrived a short time later and breath-tested the man, who returned a positive result.
He was arrested and taken to Raymond Terrace Police Station, where a subsequent analysis returned a reading of 0.186.
The man was issued a Court Attendance Notice for drive with high-range PCA.
He is due to appear in Raymond Terrace Local Court on Monday 22 February.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Hegarty said it’s encouraging to see motorists concerned for the safety of others by reporting dangerous driving to police.
“As part of our Four Ds campaign, we’ve been urging all road users to report drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving, when safe to do so,” he explained.
“In this instance, the actions of one person has helped keep the community safe.”
During the Operation Australia Day 2021 period, motorists faced double demerit points for speeding, mobile phone, motorcycle helmet and seatbelt offences.
Police conducted in excess of 96,000 breath tests, with more than 300 drivers charged with drink driving.
In addition to the drink-driving charges, 386 people returned positive results for drug-driving.
More than 9200 people were fined for other traffic offences, including not wearing a seatbelt and speeding.
“While the poor behaviour of some drivers is disappointing, we’re overall encouraged by the behaviour of the vast majority of drivers over the operation,” Acting Assistant Commissioner Hegarty said.
“Sadly, three people lost their lives on NSW roads over this period.
“We continue to work hard in improving road safety for all road users across our state.”